March 10, 2024 | Issue 36

Rosani Lens Project

A Project of RC Fleming Island

The work of the Rosani Lens Project is to provide a unified, aligned solution to three core problems:

  1. Millions of people are living visually impaired because they cannot get an appropriate set of glasses due to significant barriers to access and availability;
  2. One of the main barriers, especially in low- to middle-income countries (LMICs), is that there are simply not enough trained eye specialists to provide the necessary testing and make the glasses; and, finally
  3. Thousands of groups and individuals pursue charitable endeavors annually—including for medical missions—but often lack the training and resources to make the lasting change to which they aspire.

How do we get more high-quality, life-changing glasses to more people? Where do we find the human resources to reach the most remote communities, when such a shortage exists? How can we help good-hearted people maximize their charitable efforts abroad?

These are the questions that drove the formulation of the Rosani Lens Project. With a curated technique for refractive testing and custom glasses production, people can be recruited and “deputized”, without formal ophthalmic training, to go out into communities where access to glasses has been absent. There they distribute sight-improving lenses at a fractional cost—improving vision, maximizing long-term impact, and providing care and dignity in the process.

To that end, last month, eight Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Fleming Island traveled to Grand Bahama, an Island devastated by Hurricane Dorian two years ago.

They provided both reading and prescription glasses free of charge to persons who would otherwise not be able to afford glasses. They teamed with the Rotary Clubs of Freeport and Grand Bahama, along with the Bahamas Health Services to provide this valuable service. 359 people were served over a three day period; distributing 412 pairs of reading glasses and 171 pairs of prescription glasses.

The Salvation Army provided their facility – which allowed two simultaneous testing locations and a separate reading glasses booth.

Rosani Lens Project is a locally conceived program driven by ophthalmologist Dr. Ben Thomas. Fleming Island Rotarians learned of this important process during a presentation to their club. The kits cost approximately $500.00 for 50 pairs of glasses frames and include portable eye testers and each item necessary to conduct eye tests. Glasses are then made for each individual, based upon the outcome of the eye exam. There are approximately 50 lenses for each pair of frames, so there will be a satisfactory number of lenses to meet the variations in eye correction.

This was the second visit to the Island and additional clubs or partipants are welcome.

Thanks to AG Randy Robb for this article.


John Tabor | District Governor 2023-2024

Rotary District 6970

John Tabor

District Governor


March 31, 2024

Watson and Williams Award Nomination Deadline

April 20, 2024

Rotary Learning Institute

Daytona State College,

Palm Coast

May 3 - 4, 2024

District Conference

University Center

UNF, Jacksonville

Video From the Project

Al Watson and Brent Williams Award Nominations Are Open

Please carefully consider nominating a Rotarian for recognition of their outstanding service to Rotary and their communities. Nomination Deadline is March 31.

Nomination Portal

Two Days Late Because Of The Rain, 5th Annual Marion Rotary Duck Derby Was A Blast!

The 5th Annual Marion Rotary Duck Derby on February 19th at Tuscawilla Park was a triumph.

The success of the Marion County Rotary Duck Derby showcases the community's dedication to charitable causes. The Rotary Clubs extend thanks to all participants, sponsors, and supporters for their contributions. The funds raised will continue to positively impact the Discovery Center and other Rotary charities, reflecting the Rotary spirit of giving back to the community.


The highlight was the race featuring 5,000 Rubber Ducks, with winners including Erin Eldridge, Shelley Orr, Community Foundation, Donna Miller, Dawn Oliver-Thompson, Jim Samuelson, and Rick Bourne. They received cash prizes ranging from $2,000 to $250.


Tim Dean, President of the Rotary Club of Ocala, expressed gratitude for the City of Ocala and the Discovery Center's support in overcoming last-minute challenges due to inclement weather. He affirmed the Rotary Club's commitment to future Duck Derbies, emphasizing "Service Above Self."

Photos of the Event

Meet your District Leadership

Robert Perry

Assistant Governor - Membership Area 5

RC Southside (Jacksonville)

Past President

Rotarian 24 Years

Robert began his Rotary journey as a Group Study Exchange Student to East-central Italy in 1989. He joined the Rotary Club of Southpoint in 2000. There he has served as Membership Chairman, President (twice) and is currently serving as Club Secretary.

He is currently serving Rotary District 6970 as Area Governor for Membership in District 5. He is a qualified facilitator for the Rotary Leadership Institute’s Sunshine Division. He is a Paul Harris Fellow (Sapphire) and a sustaining Paul Harris Society Member.  


In his civilian professions, Robert is an attorney and a Certified Public Accountant. He is the principal at the Law Offices of Robert J. Perry, Jr., PLLC, where, through his firm, he offers cost-effective legal services in the areas of Estate Planning and Elder Law. The firm also offers litigation services in the areas of probate, trust and guardianship.

He is also a retired Navy Captain (O-6). His military qualifications include 1200 psi Steam Engineer, Surface Warfare Officer, Fire Marshall, Small Craft Officer, Command Ashore and Command at Sea. His tours include five commands, two major commands and as a group deputy. He completed three overseas deployments. He has received numerous awards and commendations. 


His Rotary Partner is Monica. They have three children.  

President's Representative Named for District Conference

Kenneth Schuppert of Decatur, Alabama has been selected by RI President Gordon McInally to represent him at the District 6970 Assembly and Conference May 3 - 4, 2024.

Ken served as a Trustee of The Rotary Foundation for 2016-20, and as its Vice Chair for 2016-17. He served as Vice President of Rotary International in 2012-2013.

Ken also served as a Director of Rotary International for 2011-13, a member of the RI Audit Committee for 2011-12, RI Strategic Planning Committee for 2012-15, and as Chair for 2013-15, and on the RI 2015 Convention Committee as Vice Chair for 2014-15.

Ken and his wife Lynn served as the Aides for the 2014-15 RI President and First Lady, Gary and Corinna Huang of Taipei, Taiwan, and served as the Moderators of the 2016 International Assembly for RI Pres. John and Judy Germ of Chattanooga, TN.

We are priviledged to have Ken join us and look forward to his stories, (including one about Mikhail Gorbachev!) and his inspiration.

Registration Coming Soon!

Register by 31 March to take advantage of the preregistration discount!

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