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Dear Abby: Recently you published some important information for low-income workers and their families regarding free eye examinations through Vision USA.

Another public service program, the National Eye Care Project (NECP), has offered medical eye care to America's low-income senior popu-la-tion for the past 10 years. Nearly 200,000 patients have received care, at no out-of-pocket cost to them.The program is simple. Referrals are provided to an ophthalmologist (a physician trained in the medical and surgical treatment of eye disease) for those who are 65 and over and do not otherwise have access to medical eye care. We encourage senior citizens, or anyone who knows of a person over 65, who have been putting off obtaining eye care due to their financial situation to call the Helpline (800) 222-EYES (3937). Eligible callers will receive a referral to an ophthalmologist in their community.

Sponsored by the Foundation of the American Academy of Oph-thal-mology and the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Inc., the NECP is supported by more than 7,500 ophthalmologists who provide care at 9,300 locations across the country.

We would appreciate your passing this message along to your readers.

- B. Thomas Hutchinson, M.D.,

chairman, National Eye Care Project

Dear Dr. Hutchinson: I'm delighted to spread the word about your worthwhile program. I'm sure many readers will find it helpful.

And while we're on the subject of vision, the International Association of Lions Clubs has a wonderful program that can provide a precious gift to those less fortunate. Unwanted or outdated eyeglasses, tucked away in drawers or closets, can make a tremendous difference in the life of someone in need. Lions Clubs International has designated May "Lions Recycle for Sight Month" and encourages Americans to donate their unwanted or outdated eyeglasses to people in developing nations.

For many people throughout the world, eye care is inaccessible or eyeglasses are unaffordable. (In some countries, a single eye doctor may serve a community of hundreds of thousands, and eyeglasses can cost as much as a month's wages.)

Both prescription eyeglasses and nonprescription sunglasses are needed. Although Lions Clubs have been collecting eyeglasses for more than 60 years, this is the first collaborative effort joining clubs throughout the United States and Canada.

Anyone interested in donating eyeglasses should contact their local Lions Club or look for "Lions Recycle for Sight" recycling bins in area businesses throughout the month of May. Readers can also call (800) 747-4448 to learn where they can send their eyeglasses for recycling.

Dear Abby: My longtime friend, "Anita," had planned a large church wedding and asked me and six other friends to be bridesmaids.

Well, two weeks before the wedding, Anita informed us that she had broken her engagement so the wedding was off.

Abby, we had already received our bridesmaid gowns, and I had mine altered, so there was no way I could return it and get my money refunded. Unfortunately, all the bridesmaids were stuck with a $155 gown.

The bride made no effort to reimburse us; she just announced that the wedding was off.

Don't you think Anita should have offered to reimburse her bridesmaids for their gowns? Or should I keep quiet and swallow the financial loss?

- Frustrated in New Jersey

Dear Frustrated: If I were you, I would just swallow the financial loss. Anita has enough to "swallow" at the moment.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)



All of the Dear Abby columns since 1988 are available online. Search for "DEAR ABBY" in the Lifestyle section and the Deseret News archives.