With such a tremendous response from the community, the Biggest Loser Weight Loss Challenge will be extended.
“We’re going to let people register right at weigh-ins, up to the weigh-in date,” said Lions Club President Tony Scalia. “We’re also allowing people to continue securing their sponsors until the middle of June.”
Weigh-ins are Friday, Saturday and Sunday next week at Next Level Gym at 85 Main St. in Batavia. Gym hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays.
The Lions Club is approaching 80 sign-ups so far, and Scalia said he knows of another 20 to 25 people coming in to register.
“I mean I went to lunch, came home, came back and there are three registrations on my desk,” he said. “People are just dropping them off, putting them in the mail. They’re really excited. We’re expecting it to be quite an event.”
Scalia says they want to develop relationships with everyone.
“Everybody’s got a common bond,” he said. “It’s really cool that everybody (has) everyone’s back. It’s going to be a good experience for the community.”
The idea for a weight loss challenge came about when Scalia and another guy in the club decided to go on a diet, and each put up a couple hundred dollars with the winner taking home the money.
“We got to talking about it, and from there we formulated this whole challenge thing,” he said. “There is no template — it has never been done before. This is so unique, and I think that is part of the appeal.”
Scalia said a lot of people who want to take part. Mothers and daughters want to do it together,
Scalia said one woman wanted to lose 20 pounds for her upcoming wedding while another wanted to prove to her children she could do it.
“All of them are saying, ‘This gives me the motivation, and I know I can do it,’” he said. “So we’ve had a lot of that — where people are just looking for that reason to know to do it. “We think with all the support we’re going to offer and the encouragement, it will keep them on track.”
People are already planning how they will lose weight for the competition. Scalia said one girl enlisted a trainer and a dietician, while others are getting diet plans in place from the hospital or their doctors.
“Some are thinking, ‘Should I get weighed in the beginning, or later in the evening when I may weigh more, and weigh out at the end early in the morning when I weigh less?’” he said. “So they’re all thinking that — ‘How can I get rid of an extra pound or two?’”
Registration forms can be found around Batavia and on the group’s Facebook page, Batavia’s Biggest Losers.
Registration is $40 to go toward a prize pool which will give $1,000 to the biggest loser by proportion of starting body weight. Competitors must also secure weight loss sponsorship fees from family, friends or coworkers totaling a minimum of $2.50 per pound of weight loss.
A weekend stay and spa package for two at Mirbeau Spa in Skaneateles will be given to the largest fund raising individual or two-person team.
All tax deductible dollars raised will go to the Batavia’s Lion Club, which will be used on programs the club supports.
The 25 bikes were then donated to the ARC for use by their clients, the Salvation Army for distribution to community members, and the YMCA for local children in need. The Lions wish to thank John Roche, the owner of “Adam Miller’s Toys and Bicycles” for allowing us to set up shop next to the store and providing his expertise and new parts for the bike repair project. We hope the bikes enjoy a wonderful new life with their new owners.
Over the past two years, the Batavia Lions Club, through the Lions SEE (Screening Eyes Early) Program, has provided vision screening for several hundred pre-kindergarten age children throughout our community. The program is an initiative of the Lions Clubs in New York State. Its goal is to screen young children for vision problems that can lead to amblyopia, or “lazy eye”. This is a condition that is noted by reduced vision not correctable by glasses or contact lenses and is not due to any eye disease. When one eye is better than the other, the child will begin to stop using the weaker eye. The brain, for some reason, does not fully acknowledge the images seen by the amblyopic eye. This almost always affects only one eye but may manifest itself with reduction of vision in both eyes. It is estimated that about three present of children under the age of six have some form of amblyopia. This is not a condition that would be noted in a regular pre-school or kindergarten vision screening.
Trained volunteers from the Batavia Lions Club screen the children’s eyes using a Welch-Allen SureSight Vision Screener. This is a camera about the size of a box of cake mix that photographs the inside of the child’s eye. Each eye is done separately and the entire process takes about 30 – 60 seconds for each child. The pictures are taken from about 12 – 24 inches from the child’s eye.
The results are then printed out and attached to the parent permission forms which are forwarded to the Ross Eye Institute in Buffalo where they are reviewed by professional eye specialists for any potential problems. Letters are send to parents from the Ross Eye Institute indicating either that their child did not show any vision problems that could lead to amblyopia or that there was some indication a problem might exist. If there is a problem noted, they are simply asked to follow up with their family eye specialist.
The screening is a free community service provided by your Batavia Lions Club. We contact area pre-schools and pre-kindergarten programs to ask if they would like to participate. We are happy to be able to provide this service and help make certain that our youngest students have healthy vision as they begin their school experience.
During the month of May, we will be collecting used prescription eyeglasses as part of a unique recycling program. The collected glasses will be cleaned and prepared for distribution in developing countries where eye care is often unaffordable and inaccessible. In most developing countries, an eye exam can cost as much as one month’s wages and a single eye doctor may serve a community of hundreds of thousands of people.
The donated glasses will then be shipped to a regional Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center where they will be cleaned, categorized by prescription and prepared for distribution by Lions and other groups.
To donate used glasses, please send them to school with a student and they will collected and placed in specially marked “Lions Recycle For Sight” collection boxes located in each building.
Lions clubs are a group of men and women who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs. However, the primary work of the Lions Club is to promote healthy vision, both globally and locally. In the Batavia area, we are involved in many projects that do just that. We provide vision machines that enlarge print to help sight impaired individuals to read. We have started screening preschool children from ages 1-5 for early signs of potential vision problems using new state of the art hand held digital screening machines - free of charge. We help families pay for eye exams and glasses if they are unable to afford them. We have provided computer programs that read aloud what is on a computer screen for individuals who cannot see the screen. We also collect used eye glasses that are then refurbished and recycled so individuals can have the glasses they need.
The Batavia Lions Club is pleased to participate in this community service project with the students of our three city elementary schools. We know it will help our efforts to collect used eyeglasses and are excited to give young students the opportunity to experience the satisfaction of service to others.