Sponsored by Old Dominion Eye Foundation, Inc.

Lion Joseph Lipomi, PDG

Joseph Lipomi was a dedicated Lion with many years of service.  Joe embraced a special commitment—working for the sight impaired and visually handicapped.  While he pursued these endeavors through numerous avenues, the Old Dominion Eye Foundation, Inc. was particularly close to him.  This was evidenced in his service as President and life-long member of its Board of Directors.  He expressed his belief in ODEF’s work upon his passing through a major endowment to further the eye bank’s goals.

The Lipomi Lions Vision Fund is intended to honor the memory of Joe and his wife Mary, express an appreciation for their immeasurable support and broaden the scope of our service.

In addition to providing corneal tissue for transplant, ODEF supports many research and educational projects. Donated eye tissue for research and education is used to find cures for blinding disorders such as glaucoma, diabetes related eye disorders, retinitis pigmentosa, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more. We also conduct educational programs for the public – working to register the citizens of the Commonwealth to become organ, eye and tissue donors.

Hunter, the first recipient of the Lipomi Lions Vision Fund.

Scholarships or Equipment Assistance

To assist individuals who are legally blind who want to further their education through scholastics or in the trade industry, the Old Dominion Eye Foundation will award scholarships and/or equipment assistance grants to qualified applicants.
The monies for these awards will be drawn from the Lipomi Lions Vision Fund a part of the Old Dominion Eye Foundation, Inc.


The first eye bank in Virginia was established in 1957 by Elbyrne G. Gill, M.D. in Roanoke. An additional eye bank followed shortly thereafter, organized through the Medical College of Virginia. After its development, Lions Clubs in central, eastern, and northern Virginia expressed interest in supporting the program to preserve and restore sight to the visually impaired. By 1962, the eye bank was recognized under the direction of a new Board of Directors as an autonomous, non-profit organization known as Old Dominion Eye Foundation, Inc.

  1. Complete an application.
  2. Be legally blind and have completed the Confirmation of Legal Blindness document.
  3. Meet the requirements of financial need as defined by the sponsoring club (sponsoring clubs have the responsibility of screening the individual based on criteria set forth by the club).
  4. Submit their application through a Lions Club in good standing with Lions Club International (LCI), and operate in Districts24 A, B, C, E, or F.
  5. Reside in the boundaries of Districts 24-A, B, C, E, or F, and be a US legal resident.
  6. Be pursuing a course of study in a degree program, or a certificate in a trade school.
  7. In the case of equipment, must use the equipment for educational purposes, or to assist them in work related tasks. Any deviation of the above criteria will be reviewed and considered by the committee.
  8. Provide two letters of recommendation.
  9. Allow ODEF to use their name, picture, story, or personal appearance in their public relations efforts.


The ODEF Board of Directors, with input from “Lipomi Fund” committee members will establish the number of awards each year, and reserves the right to change or alter requirements at any time. The awards will be based on information submitted on the applications. All applications will be reviewed fairly with no regard to race, sex, or religion. The Board of Directors is under no legal obligation to award any scholarships, or assist with any equipment purchase in any given year. All scholarships or awards will be paid directly to the educational institution, or the vendor of the equipment. Special circumstances will be reviewed by the committee. It is the intention that each award will be $2,500 or less. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the committee.

Apply for a scholarship or award!
Download the application packet here!
  1. Complete the application in its entirety.
  2. Complete the “Confirmation of Legal Blindness” document.
  3. Obtain two letters of recommendation.