The Pickerington Lions Club this week will raise funds to fight vision deficiencies through the Sport of Kings.

The Pickerington Lions Club this week will raise funds to fight vision deficiencies through the Sport of Kings.

On Saturday, Feb. 25, the Pickerington Lions Club will host its first "Night at the Races" at the Pickerington Senior Center, 150 Hereford Drive.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The evening will feature wagering on horse racing, a raffle drawing, music and racing calling. The first of six races will begin at 7:20 p.m.

Tickets are $20 each, and a portion of the proceeds will support the club's ongoing efforts to provide assistance to individuals with sight deficiencies.

"This is a new one for the Pickerington Lions," said Larry Twyman, Pickerington Lions Club treasurer. "We wanted to have entertainment for people and do something that not only would be fun, but that would also raise money for our projects."

Only 200 tickets will be sold for the event. They can be purchased in advance by calling Twyman at (614) 834-0163, emailing LionLTwyman@yahoo.com or by sending a check to the Pickerington Lions Club, 8150 Garden Drive, Pickerington, Ohio, 43147.

Depending on availability, tickets also will be sold at the door on the night of the fundraiser.

Those who attend will be eligible for approximately 50 door prizes and automatically will be entered into a raffle drawing, with the winner being announced at the conclusion of the night's festivities. The tickets also can be used as $5 coupons at the Senor Patron and La Fogata Grille restaurants in Pickerington.

Additionally, attendees will be given $10 worth of "Lions Bucks," which will serve as the currency for the evening. They can be used to purchase drinks or food at the event, or to purchase raffle tickets.

Lions Bucks also can be used for the evening's primary entertainment, six videotaped horse races on which attendees can wager. Following the last night of the evening, those who've accumulated the most Lions Bucks through betting will receive cash prizes ranging from $25 to $300.

For those who don't wish to wager on horses, there also will be "Quick Bingo," an abbreviated version of the traditional game.

"The cash prizes will be based on who does the best at picking horses and Quick Bingo," Twyman said. "Those will pay out $750 in prizes and the raffle drawing is for $250.

"You'll get $10 in Lions Bucks when you walk through the door and you'll also get a racing book and a list of rules," he said. "If you have Lions Bucks at the end of the night, you can use them for the raffle drawing."

Since the Lions Club was founded, the organization has attempted to combat blindness and other sight deficiencies.

In addition to fun, Twyman said the Night at the Races will allow the Pickerington club to continue to help local people in need. In recent months, he said, those efforts have included spending more than $3,000 to help two Pickerington residents.

In one case, Twyman said, $2,400 was provided to a man who needed urgent medical attention to offset sight loss, and in another, the Lions Club purchased a computer and software for a Pickerington resident with sight deficiencies to assist in reading and completing college course work.

"We also help people if they're financially disadvantaged and they have needs for eyeglasses," he said.