The Lions of District 20 R-1 (N Westchester / Rockland Putnam) joined with
Association for the Visually Impaired, Rockland Independent Living, and the NY
Commission for the Blind Tuesday October 15, at Palisades Mall to mark White
Blind and visually impaired people in many countries use the familiar
white cane with a red band at the bottom. Originated in 1921 by
James Biggs in Bristol, England, who painted the bottom of his cane red to
be more visible to motorists, the white cane today provides blind
persons a legal status in traffic and serves as a universal "symbol
On hand for the observance were Brian Daniels, Assistant Commissioner
for the NY State Commission on the Blind, State Senator (and a Nanuet
Lion) David Carlucci (NY Senate 38th), AVI President Laura Geberth
and AVI Placement Counselor Yolanda Rihlman and Lion Past International
Director Bob Klein (North Rockland), Lion Past Council Chair Angelo
Purcigliotti (Somers), and District Governor Barbara Chuck (Nanuet).
PID Bob Klein gave an overview of the history of the white cane and its
emergence as a symbol of independence.
District Governor Barbara Chuck presented a $250 donation from District 20
R-1 Lions to AVI.
DG Lion Barbara, expressed her appreciation to Shoprite, Stiarbucks,
and the Palisades Mall for their support of the event.
Along with Lion Brad O'Dell, Lion Donna Ehrenberg,
District PR Co-Chair Pat Hart, ZC Gerry Jamieson, Lion Barbara
Greenberg, Lion (State Senator) David Carlucci, and Lion Club President Lou
Ramos from District Governor Barbara's Nanuet Club, Lion Second Vice District
Governor Steve DeName, (Croton), Lion Chuck Cohen (Pearl River), Lion
Cary Smolen (North Rockland), and Lion Maybelle Twohie (Ramapo) were
on hand to support the White Cane Day event.
In 1930, George A.Bonham, President of the Peoria Lions
Club (Illinois), introduced the idea of using the white cane with a red
band as a means of assisting the blind in independent mobility.
Today white cane laws are on the books of every state in the US and many
other countries, providing blind persons a legal status in traffic. The white
cane now universally acknowledges that the bearer is blind.