The Jackson Township Lions Club celebrated the start of its 41st Annual Rose Day with a dinner at the Jackson High School Bears Den Café on Feb. 2. This event is the kickoff of one of the Club’s major fundraisers, offering a dozen roses for $18 delivered anywhere in Stark County on April 8.

Guest Speaker at the Kickoff Dinner was Jay Gray, executive director of Columbus-based Pilot Dogs. He stated that Pilot Dogs has been training and furnishing guide dogs for the blind since 1950. The cost of furnishing a Pilot Dog has now grown to be $10,000.

The program furnishes 150 sight impaired individuals each year with a guide dog. The users come from all over the United States as well as a few foreign countries. Nearly a third of the dogs are actively placed in Ohio.

Donation of the Club’s Pilot Dog $10,000 scholarship is in keeping with Lions International’s historic invite by Helen Keller - in 1925 - for "Lions to become Knights of the Blind." With this latest club gift, to supply a scholarship, the Jackson Township Lions have provided 37 Pilot Dogs. Value of these scholarships equals nearly $250,000.

The Jackson Township Lions Club provides eye screenings at all levels, assistance to needy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas, three scholarships to graduating high school students, support grants to the library & YMCA and more.