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Lions donate $100,000 for Indigenous Community

Press Release

Funds will support Eye Exam Room and Diabetes Care in new Health Centre

For immediate release (TORONTO May 7, 2018): The Toronto Netralya Lions Club (TNLC) donated $100,000 for “Indigenous Eye Health” at a fundraiser organized at the Avani Event Centre in Vaughan. Funds raised at the Lions Gala for Sight – 2018 will support an “Eye Exam and Diabetes Care room” for a new Anishnawbe Health Centre in Toronto.

This is the first time Lions and the Indian Diaspora have created a legacy and taken the lead to raise funds for the Indigenous Community of Canada.

“Our Toronto Netralya Lions Club wanted to do something to help the Indigenous people, one of the most vulnerable communities in the Greater Toronto Area,” says Lion Kanta Arora, Founding Member, Club President and Gala Chair on May 5, 2018. “The TNLC is dedicated to ending preventable blindness and to provide funding for programs that help eradicate eye disease in underprivileged communities. I’m proud that TNLC got behind this cause and we are proud to contribute to ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ for our Indigenous brothers and sisters with this

In Canada, Diabetes is a leading cause of preventable eye disease. Diabetes is the 6th leading  cause of death and one in three Canadians with Diabetes will develop Retinopathy which can cause irreversible vision loss if Diabetes is not managed and blood sugar not controlled. For  Indigenous people in particular, Diabetes is at unprecedented levels and is three to five times more than their non-Indigenous counterparts with the onset of the disease occurring at a much younger age and complications becoming more severe.

“On behalf of Anishnawbe Health Toronto and our Foundation, chi-miigwetch (big thank you) to the Gala organizing committee, volunteers, guests and sponsors who made this incredible night possible. We deeply appreciate this strong leadership support to help move our vision of a new home for Indigenous health a reality. With this generous support, we will expand vision and Diabetes care for our community,” says Diane Gray, President of Anishnawbe Health Foundation.

About Toronto Netralya Lions Club (TNLC):

Toronto Netralya Lions Club (TNLC) is a service club dedicated to ending preventable blindness and providing funding for programs that help eradicate eye disease in underprivileged communities. Since its inception in 2009, the Club has raised more than $700,000 for various local and global humanitarian causes and charities mainly involved with “Excellence in Preventable Blindness, Vision and Diabetes.” For more information, visit

Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. Over 1.4 million members in more than 46,000 clubs provide humanitarian service in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the globe. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives and strengthened communities through hands on service and humanitarian projects. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit

About Anishnawbe Health Toronto (AHT) and Anishnawbe Health Foundation (AHF): Anishnawbe Health Toronto is a fully accredited Community Health Centre. Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in spirit, mind, emotion and body by providing traditional healing within a multi-disciplinary health care model. AHT is at the forefront of providing culturally safe Diabetes management and prevention programs for their community where 90 per cent of its population live at or below Canada’s low
income line. The top fundraising priority for this organization is a new, purpose built community health centre which will include expanded space and facilities such as an eye exam room and other facilities to promote the prevention and control of Diabetes. For more information, visit

Anishnawbe Health Foundation is a registered charity that supports the work of Anishnawbe Health Toronto. Its inaugural project is a $10 million capital campaign to help fund the community share portion of a new Community Health Centre building that will bring all of AHT’s services under one roof in the West Don Lands neighborhood.


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