Saturday, July 8th was hot in Haines, Oregon. The weather forecast said it should reach 96 degrees and I bet it was close. However, the park where the Eagle Scout ceremony was to occur had a row of huge shade trees that kept about half the green lawn cool. I was there to finally meet Colton Anderson, a recipient of cross linking eye surgery with sponsorship by the Baker City Lions and the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation (OLSHF).
Colton is the second person of Baker County afflicted with keratoconus, a condition that thins the cornea and left untreated would result in blindness. An outcome that the Baker City Lions and OLSHF would not stand for. So with the help of OLSHF and the sponsorship of the Baker City Lions, doctors at Devers Memorial Eye Clinic completed a successful surgery on his first eye in June 2017. Surgery for his other eye is scheduled for August 26th.
I was here to meet the Andersons and drop off a check to help offset their travel expenses for the trip to Devers in Portland. I also wanted to finally meet this young man who was being honored for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in scouting. He was not hard to find as he was the uniformed scout with a sash loaded with all kinds of merit badges. After the scout troop set the chairs, in the cooler shade of the trees, Colton’s family, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, friends, neighbors and one Lion took our seats.
Josh Anderson, Colton’s dad and scout master of Troop 460 presided over the ceremony, as well as the Honorable Baker District Judge, Greg Baxter. It was a fantastic ceremony that opened with a color guard, presentations from Dad and Judge Baxter. The ceremony included the pinning of Mom and Dad and finally Colton being pinned with the Eagle Scout badge. After the ceremony and photographs, I snuck in and introduced myself to Colton. He was surprised and pleased to meet me. We shook hands, hugged and he thanked me many times for the help he received from the Lions. We talked a bit about the upcoming surgery and he expressed his excitement to be getting fitted next week with a contact lens in his operated eye that should result in 20/20 vision. And that would happen before the next eye surgery…so he could always see.
After our visit, everyone then enjoyed a pot-luck picnic in the cool shade. I received many thanks from family and friends for the help Colton received from the Lions. Many didn’t know what Lions really did and they expressed their thanks for the assistance Lions give to others too. Our work is much appreciated, they said.
As I departed, I asked Colton – when you go over for this second surgery please say hello for me to those dear friends at OLSHF. He said he would.