Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

By Gary Collins
Pine Bluffs Post 

Lions Club takes to the road for second Ride for Sight


Gary Collins/Pine Bluffs Post

Tom Ludtke, of Cheyenne, takes a break at the 20-mile rest stop at Burns Elementary before heading back to the starting spot in Pine Bluffs during the 2nd Annual High Plains Ride for Sight. Ludtke had to repair a flat tire during his 20-mile ride. Thankfully, he carried a spare inner tube.

Lion Robin Walters has 100 per cent vision impairment, she is completely blind, but that has not stopped her from leading as full a life as she is able.

Walters is a member the Cheyenne Sunrise Lions Club and was on hand with other members of the Cheyenne club at the 20-mile rest stop during the 2nd Annual High Plains Ride for Sight (RFS) put on by the Pine Bluffs Lions Club, Sunday, May 28.

Lion Gary Roadifer of the Pine Bluffs Lions Club was in charge of the event.

"The Ride For Sight is our main money making project. All the money we earn goes to eye prevention care. Three years ago we helped pay for a lady here with cataract surgery and we donate to the early childhood vision screening," Roadifer said in an April interview. "All the money we earn there is back to the public, one way or another, mostly to our community. Our main thing is student of the quarter. We do eight a year. We give a hundred dollar scholarship to each kid. We average about eight eye screenings or eye glasses a year."

In addition to the above, money raised from the RFS will also be used to sponsor a one week Summer School for youth with vision impairments at the Allen H. Stuart Lions Camp in Caspar, Wyo.

Walters, herself, attended such a camp in Kerrville, Texas when she was seven.

"It's really amazing because I learned to weave baskets and play miniature golf," Walters said. "It was great fun because there were no limits. It is to help the visually impaired to be more independent."

According to the Lions of Wyoming Foundation website the purpose of the camp is to teach independent living skills, compensatory skills, recreation, orientation/mobility and to build confidence and self image.

The Lions Club became involved in the work of aiding the blind and visually impaired in 1925 when Helen Keller addressed the Lions Club International Convention and challenged the Lions to become, "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness."

The Lions Club was founded in 1917 and is celebrating its one hundredth anniversary. The Pine Bluffs Lions Club was formed in 1922 and will be celebrating their 95th anniversary in November. They were sponsored by the Kimball club.

The RFS laid out a 70 mile course for the 27 riders who participated. As the Pine Bluffs City Park is closed for reseeding, the ride began at the Pine Bluffs Veteran's Memorial and Community Plaza. A continental breakfast was served up by Tammy Tucker at Something on the Way, and lunch at the same location was made available to riders after the event.

There were rest stops set up every 10 miles. The first, located at the Bowman place at the intersection of 210 and 156, was manned by Mr. and Mrs. Bowman, Lion Glenn Manley and his wife Rachael. The 20-mile stop at Burns Elementary was fielded by the Cheyenne Sunrise Lions Club and the thirty-mile stop at the Ogles place on 213 saw Lions Bob Lyons and Al Milton in charge. The 35 mile mark was the intersection of 213 and 216.

One rider who made the whole 70 miles was Erin Madson. She employed the carrot and stick approach.

"I rode for ten miles into a head wind and told myself that going back I would have a tail wind. I enjoyed it but with ten miles left, I asked myself what I was doing there," Madson said.

Madson persevered and made it home.

The ride was a success according to Roadifer, who stated that it earned enough to fund their projects for a year.


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