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Retiring Volunteers Honored for Helping the Blind

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Fred Ruffolo and Tony Marsella have collected a total of 19,600 eye glasses to donate to third-world countries while volunteering for the Mamaroneck Lion's Club, which will honor the pair at its weekly meeting Tuesday.

Lion's Club president Joseph Vozza planned to present the Mamaroneck residents, who are members of the Knights of Columbus and have volunteered their time over many years to collect glasses, with a pin and ribbon for their service. However, Ruffolo, 90, and Marsella, 88, could not attend due to health issues.

The Lion's Club, an international organization that has raised money to benefit the blind through charities like the Seeing Eye Dog Association of Westchester since 1917, sends the glasses off to a warehouse, which repairs them and sends them to third-world countries in Asia and South America. Glasses are also donated to school children who cannot afford them.

Members spoke about the two men and their contribution to the Lion's Club and the blind at Tuesday's meeting.

Sabato "Chubby" Autorino, a past president of the Lion's Club, remembers meeting a taxi driver in Mexico whose family received glasses from them.

"He thought it was a big honor to meet us," Autorino said.

The Lion's Club will hold a pancake breakfast on Oct. 16 at Orienta Beach Club at 8 a.m.

If you want to donate your glasses, you can drop them off at one of these locations:

Apple of Your Eyes Optical - 1600 Harrison Avenue #106

Hudson City Bank - 300 Mamaroneck Avenue / 389 Halstead Avenue

St. Vito's Church - 816 Underhill Avenue

Holy Trinity - 320 E Boston Post Road

The Village Regatta (Village Office) - 123 Mamaroneck Avenue

Chase Bank - 101 Mamaroneck Avenue

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