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"Lions are members of community service clubs, dedicated to the idea
that the men and women who live in a community are in the best position to know
who needs help and why. More than 44,500 strong, these local clubs are part of
the world's largest such organization, with 1.4 million members serving in more
than 180 countries and areas. The association is both non-political and
non-sectarian. Lions are now best known for their sight-related programs,
including SightFirst, the world's largest blindness prevention program.
Lions Clubs International
The world's largest service club association, Lions Clubs International has
1.4 million members in more than 44,500 clubs in approximately 185 countries and
geographical areas. Lions are men and women who volunteer their time to
humanitarian causes. Founded in 1917, the association's motto is "We
Mission of Lions Clubs International
Lions Clubs International is dedicated to helping those less fortunate in
their communities and around the world. Cutting across all national, racial and
cultural boundaries, activities have included sight conservation and work with
the visually impaired, youth programs including drug education and prevention
and volunteer programs, diabetes detection and research and work for
international cooperation and understanding.
History of Lions Clubs International
The International Association of Lions Clubs began as the dream of Chicago
businessman Melvin Jones. He believed that local business clubs should expand
their horizons from purely professional concerns to the betterment of their
communities and the world at large.
Jones' own group, the Business Circle of Chicago, agreed. After contacting
similar groups around the country, an organizational meeting was held on June 7,
1917, at the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago. The new group took the name of one of the
groups invited, the "Association of Lions Clubs," and a national
convention was held in Dallas in October of that year. A constitution, by-laws,
objects and code of ethics were approved.
Just three years after its formation, the organization became international
when the first club in Canada was established in 1920. Major international
expansion continued as clubs were established, particularly throughout Europe,
Asia and Africa during the 1950s and 60s.
Perhaps the single event having the greatest impact on the association's
service commitment occurred in 1925 when Helen Keller addressed the Lions at
their international convention in Cedar Point, Ohio USA. It was there that she
challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against
darkness." They responded, and Lions are now best known for their
sight-related programs, including SightFirst, the world's largest blindness
In 1990, Lions established SightFirst, a US$140 million global initiative to rid
the world of preventable and reversible blindness. The unprecedented program
joins leading blindness and prevention experts, blindness prevention
organizations, governments and Lions volunteers in an effort to establish
long-term solutions in eliminating preventable and reversible blindness.
Second only to the Lions' commitment to aiding the blind and visually
impaired is a strong dedication to serving young people. The Lions Youth
Outreach program challenges young people to learn, to achieve and to serve. By
focusing on volunteerism, it steers young people away from harmful behaviors
such as gang involvement, violence and substance abuse. The Leo Clubs Program,
International Youth Exchange, International Youth Camps and the Lions
International Peace Poster Contest are all youth activities sponsored by Lions
Clubs International that promote international cooperation and understanding.
Lions Clubs International Foundation
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is the charitable arm of Lions
Clubs International (LCI). The foundation's mission is to support the efforts of
Lions clubs around the world in serving their local and global communities by
funding humanitarian service projects."
2000 The International Association of Lions Clubs. All rights reserved. Lions International
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