Benton Grade School students once again proved their generosity by collecting eyeglasses.
In exchange, Benton Lions Club members are rewarding the classes that collected the most with pizza parties.
Event chair Cindy Page extended appreciation to school superintendent Jay Goble and winners last week and said pizza parties are in the works, with seventh graders slated to lunch on the pies on Tuesday.
“A total of 209 pair of used eyeglasses was collected, along with 43 used cell phones,” Page said.
The drive, held Oct. 22 through Nov. 2, had classes competing for the cheesy-topped treats, with third and seventh-grade classes declared the winners. “Last year’s eyeglass collection was a huge success,” Page said. “Benton Lions Club members voted to have another collection this year. I spoke with Dr. Goble about having another eyeglass drive this year and he was very supportive.”
Page said third graders brought in 52 pair of eyeglasses and six cell phones, while the seventh-grade collection netted 27 pair of eyeglasses and 13 cell phones.
Kindergartners contributed 17 pair of eyeglasses and two cell phones, first-graders brought in 18 pair of used glasses, and second graders collected 38 pair of glasses and nine phones from family, friends and neighbors.
The fourth grade classes donated 11 pair of eyeglasses and four used cell phones, while fifth graders collected 24 pair of glasses and eight cell phones. Sixth-graders brought in 15 pair of glasses and one cell phone, with eighth graders collecting seven pair of eyeglasses.
Club president Dick Rouse said the used eyeglasses are sent to the Lions Foundation, where they are sorted by prescription, cleaned, repaired and distributed to those in need in other countries.
Since 1994, the Lions of Illinois Foundation have distributed more than 5 million pairs of graded, used eyeglasses, Rouse said. Last year’s drive netted 474 pairs of used eyeglasses, Page said.