Since the Jasper Lions Club was chartered on June 22, 1939, it has hosted the down-home Independence Day festivities, and this year is no exception. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Lions: 100 Years, Looking to the Future” in honor of the 100th Birthday of Lions Clubs International, which was chartered on June 7, 1917.
In 1925, Helen Keller challenged Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” To honor that challenge, the Jasper Lions have selected Miss Charlee Ray to serve as this year’s Grand Marshal. Charlee is 12 years old, and is a rising 6th grader. She will be attending Jasper Middle School in the fall, where she will participate in the chorus. She enjoys swimming, reading,
emailing, playing on her iPad, playing with her siblings, and anything to do with the outdoors.
Charlee is the daughter of Tommy and Randi Ray. She suffered a brain bleed in utero which caused her brain to form a bubble to protect itself. Just days after she was born, a VP shunt was inserted to control the pressure her brain, but unfortunately, the damage had already been done. At the age of 8 months, she was diagnosed with Optic Nerve Atrophy in both eyes. Charlee has overcome many obstacles, but she perseveres (one of Charlee’s favorite words!) and meets her challenges head-on.
Charlee is attending the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind this summer, a place where she can be on a level playing field with others. All the campers there have a story to tell, and can share their experiences in order to help the other campers become all they can be. Charlee’s mother, Randi, had this to say: “The Camp is a place where the campers can share feeling with others who truly understand. They can gain life experiences that only the Georgia Lions Camp can provide.”
The Jasper Lions are honored that Miss Charlee Ray agreed to serve as the year’s Grand Marshal!