For over 60 years the Foundation has been supporting research on numerous eye diseases at a variety of Ohio institutions.

Highlights of the History of the Foundation

1951:  A Representative of the National Eye Research Foundation addresses the Lions of the State Convention.  His remarks were turned over to the Blind Welfare Committee for study and report at the next year's convention.

1952:  The committee's report was accepted and the Council voted to form an Eye Research Committee.  Each of the eight (8) Governors were to appoint a Lion from their district.  The then Council Chairman, W.R. Bryan, appointed Everett Steece from the Columbus Downtown Lions Club to the chair the committee.
1953:  The committee raised $3,600 and allocated $1,200 to the University of Cincinnati Department of Ophthalmology and $1,200 to the Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, and $1,200 to the Medical College at The Ohio State University (OSU).  The $1,200 allocated to OSU was used to purchase equipment to measure the amount of oxygen administered to prematurely born babies.  It has been shown that the cause of a high rate of blindness in "preemies' was too much oxygen while incubated.

The College of Optometry at OSU becomes a funded agency.

Foundation status was granted to the committee, and it was given 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status by the IRS.

Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, added to funded agencies

Children's Hospital, Columbus, added to list of funded agencies

Received a bequest from the estate of Clela Strong, Sandusky, of $138,000, to be used for education and only the interest from the invested money to be used.
1979:  Established the fellowship fund and added that all future bequests and memorials be included in this fund

Added Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, to the funded agencies

Established Bryan fund for diabetes research

  OSU requests OLERF to buy and build an eye research laboratory at 420 West 12th Ave., Columbus, cost $500,000 to be paid over ten (10) years.

  Added Wright State University to the list of funded agencies

  Launched the OLERF web site at

  Final payment to Eye Laboratory of $55,000

The Ohio Lions Eye Research Foundation (OLERF), supported by Ohio's Lions Clubs, fulfilled our 10-year commitment to create a Lions Eye Research Laboratory at The Ohio State University. During the 2002 Ohio Lions State Convention at Akron, OLERF President Norbert Peiker presented our final payment, a check in the amount of $55,000, gratefully accepted by OSU's Cynthia Roberts, PhD. OLERF at 50 -- Presentation preserved by Lion Darin Spiegel

Established Neiderhauser fund for Macular Degeneration research

  Established Norbert Peiker Fellowship of OSU Ophthalmology

  Added Akron Children's Hospital to list of funded agencies

  Lois Hagelberger Huebner Fellowship started ($214K over 2 years)

Added Northeast Ohio Medical School to list of funded agencies
2021:  Allocated over $579,000 for research.  Re-launched the OLERF web site at
2022:  Allocated $646,386 for research with our research partners
2023:  Allocated $357,000 for research with our research partners.