Lions Support “Night Sight” for Lifeflight of Maine


CAMDEN—The Camden Lions Club recently presented LifeFlight of Maine with a donation of $2,000 to help purchase night vision goggles. Lions Club members are dedicated to the ideal of service, be it community service or service to those in need. Helen Keller dubbed Lions Club International the “Knights of the Blind,” so it seemed appropriate that the Camden Lions should make this donation to help give night sight to LifeFlight.

LifeFlight implemented night vision goggles on its two helicopters several years ago, greatly improving the safety and reliability of all flights after dark, which make up about 40% of the organization’s total transports. LifeFlight will open a third base of operations in Sanford later this month, and the donation from the Camden Lions Club will help purchase NVGs for the crew providing care out of this southernmost facility. Since 2015, civic organizations from across Maine have been supporting this fundraising effort and together have raised more than $15,000. Each pair of NVGs cost approximately $12,000, and the new Sanford flight crew will need four pairs.

“LifeFlight was created to serve the people of Maine,” said Executive Director Thomas Judge. “In order to do what’s best for our patients, which includes flying as safely as we possibly can, we rely on donations from individuals, businesses and civic groups like the Lions Club to help purchase specialized equipment. We simply couldn’t provide the high level of care that Mainers deserve without this kind of generous community support.”

Carter Duke, the young man in the accompanying photo, was a recipient of LifeFlight’s services when he wasn’t even a year old. He was lifeflighted from Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor where he received the pediatric care that was needed.  Carter and his family, grateful for this much needed medical service in Maine, served as important reminders of how many local friends and neighbors have already been helped by LifeFlight’s crew.

To learn more about how you can become a Lions Club member please call Bette or Jerry Stone at 207-542-9067. Both the Camden Lions Club and LifeFlight of Maine welcome volunteers.

The LifeFlight Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides fundraising and public relations support to LifeFlight of Maine. The funds raised are used to purchase aircraft and medical equipment, and also support statewide aviation improvements and outreach programs.

LifeFlight of Maine is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit air medical and critical care transport organization. LifeFlight brings lifesaving critical care staff and equipment directly to the patient by helicopter, airplane and ground ambulance. It also provides advanced emergency medical training to Maine’s hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS) and public safety agencies. Overseen by 25 physicians, LifeFlight cared for nearly 1,800 critically ill and injured patients last year. Since its inception in 1998, LifeFlight has transported more than 21,000 patients from every hospital and nearly all of Maine’s communities and islands. If you would like to learn more about LifeFlight, please call 207-230-7092.

Pictured at the check presentation, from left to right, are LifeFlight Events Coordinator Shannon Thompson, LifeFlight Patient Carter Duke, Camden Lions Club Membership Chair (and grandmother to Carter Duke) Bette Stone, LifeFlight Director of Communications Melissa Arndt, and LifeFlight Development Assistant Christine deLorimier.  The donation will help purchase night vision goggles for LifeFlight’s third base of operations in Sanford. NVGs significantly increase the safety and reliability of nighttime flights as the crew transport patients to the critical care needed, sometimes miles away.