"Good vision is not a luxury": discount glasses for Pontiac residents

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Kate Aley

Life becomes limited if you can't see properly.... Can't see the chalkboard, can't cross the street, can't read warnings, can't drive a car.

With this in mind, Catherine Beaudet, Director General of la Maison de la Famille Quyon, has organized a visit from a team of optometrists working with Bonhomme a Lunette, a Montreal-based organization specializing in low-cost eye ware.

"I heard about this in my social studies classes," she explained. "I saw what they do and said, that's amazing! I called and they were open to the idea of coming here, especially after I explained how far Quyon is from Gatineau, where they do have clinics already."

Clients of the Bonhomme a Lunette only need to bring an updated optical prescription and their health care card. No proof of income will be necessary.

Eye exams are always free for people aged under 18 and over 65 and for most welfare recipients.

The optometrists will help clients choose and pay for a suitable pair of glasses, which will be delivered in about two weeks, according to the website.

Although the greatest price reduction will be for those on welfare, Beaudet stresses that the service and the savings are available to everyone. "However much it costs, it will a lot less than going to the shop," she said. "The mission is to help everyone see better. Good vision is not a luxury, it is a necessity."

Beaudet expects to be able to set a date with the Bonhomme group  - probably a Thursday evening - in about two months time in order that clients have enough time to get an updated prescription. Interested people should call the Maison on 819 458 2808 to make an appointment.

Beaudet hopes the Bonhomme a Lunette may be able to make the Pontiac a regular destination. "I am always looking for a way for the Maison to help people, and to help people help themselves," she said.

Go to www.bonhommealunette.org for more information on how the program works and for answers to frequently asked questions.