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May 12, 2013

Sooner Lions Club ‘Ride for Sight’ braves chilly weather

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

It was a cold and windy morning. No, this is not the start of a cheap pulp fiction thriller, but is was the conditions for the first annual Sooner Lions Club “Ride for Sight” family bike ride in Norman. Members of the Sooner Lions Club started arriving about 7 a.m. at the tennis court parking lot of Norman High School just north of Main Street on Berry Road. Tables were set up, signs describing where to sign in and where to park were installed.

Coffee from Starbucks, bagels from Panera Bread, mini cinnamon rolls from Gourmet Donuts and OJ were all set up waiting for the riders who would brave the chilly weather and the increasing wind to participate in this charitable ride.

The Sooner Lions Club, Norman, has invested over $90,000 in buying eye glasses for kids in the Norman School System since the club adopted this mission many years ago. This April, the Sooner Lions Club celebrated its 50th year of operation. A food trailer operated by the club members on OU home football games for many years finally had to be sold because no location could be found for the trailer when the parking lot on Jenkins and Lindsey was taken over by the new athletic dorm.

Needing a method to raise money to continue serving the community of Norman with the eyeglass operation, the club decided to fill a niche in Norman with a 10 mile family oriented bike ride though the streets of downtown Norman.

So with lots of hope and little experience the effort was set in motion march of this year.

Gus Thompson, who with his family members operated OK Runner in Norman and Edmond was instrumental in explaining the process of planning, permitting, and executing an outdoor event in Norman. Many thanks to Gus.

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