LDUN Geneva Recap

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On September 27, 2017, more than 250 Lions, Leos and dignitaries gathered for the first ever Lions Day with the United Nations to take place in Geneva, Switzerland . The first of three United Nations events this Lion Year, LDUN Geneva jumpstarted the conversation about how Lions can work together to combat the global diabetes epidemic.


The day-long event was jam-packed with important speakers and included an expert panel discussion on the global diabetes epidemic. Lions Clubs International President Dr. Naresh Aggarwal headlined the program, which was chaired by Past International President Dr. Giuseppe Grimaldi and included addresses from Michael Møller, Director General of United Nations Office of Geneva, Kelly Clements, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, Dr. Oleg Chestov, Assistant Director General of the World Health Organization, and more.

“Strong partnerships with organizations such as the United Nations have helped shape our past, and will help forge our future. The diabetes epidemic cannot be ignored.  Through our partnerships with the United Nations, WHO, pharmaceutical companies, and other agencies, we will make a difference for the millions of people whose lives are impacted by diabetes.”

– International President Dr. Naresh Aggarwal.


Lions Clubs International President Dr. Naresh Aggarwal speaks during Lions Day with the United Nations in Geneva.


LDUN Geneva Panel Discussion

First International Vice President Gudrun Yngvadottir moderates an expert panel discussion of the challenges posed by the global diabetes epidemic.



But it wasn’t all work.

Attendees were treated to world-class entertainment in the form of a classical violin performance and a song by the winner of the Lions World Song Festival for the Blind.

Anthony Fournier, violinist, LDUN Geneva

Anthony Fournier, winner of the European Lions Music Contest, was accompanied by pianist Jansen Ryser.


Szilvia Agárdi, winner of the Lions World Song Festival for the Blind.

LDUN Geneva is just the beginning.

Lions and Leos will continue their longstanding partnership with the United Nations—and the discussion on diabetes—at LDUN Nairobi on February 27, 2018 and LDUN New York on March 24. Registration for these events opens November 1. Space is limited, so reserve your seat as soon as possible!



Sharing the Vision, One Photo at a Time

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Helping LCIF and Lions protect a child’s sight is as easy as snapping and sharing a photo! For every photo you donate through Johnson & Johnson’s Donate a Photo app*, Johnson & Johnson will donate US$1 to Lions Clubs International Foundation’s (LCIF) Sight for Kids program, up to US$40,000.

Each photo you “donate” via the app (up to 1 per day) on behalf of our “Sight for Kids” cause will help Lions and our partner, Johnson & Johnson Vision (JJV), provide eye health education, vision screening and access to a professional eye exam to a child. In fact, each and every photo (and resulting US$1) helps us provide eye care access to up to four children through Sight for Kids innovative and sustainable model.

Sight for Kids mobilizes local Lions, teachers and eye care professionals to improve eye health awareness and remove eye care barriers to for children in underserved areas across Asia, as well as in Kenya and Turkey – including providing exams, and eye glasses and other treatment.

The free mobile app is accessible for download to anyone in the U.S., United Kingdom, and Japan from the App Store or Google Play. Let’s start donating pictures and protecting sight!

Get Started:

1. Download the FREE Donate a Photo app for your Apple or Android device (click here)
2. Follow the in-app steps to set up your account and profile. Switch on your Facebook and Twitter accounts within the app to automatically share with all your friends and followers! You can also set up a daily reminder.
3. Be sure to choose Lions’ cause: “To help protect a child’s sight with Sight for Kids.”
4. Then, take a picture, or choose an existing photo to share from your photo library.
5. When you share your photo, you help a child and inspire others to help our Sight for Kids program! Sharing on social media helps to challenges others too.

Photo Guidelines

  • Lions and the public can donate up to one photo a day, every day, to benefit LCIF’s Sight for Kids cause through January 31, 2018.
  • Any appropriate snapshot helps save sight: a photo of your coffee cup, your pet, a local landscape, a selfie. Many Lions are sharing photos of faces or eyes or favorite views to inspire and raise awareness about the importance of eye health and accessible eye care and exams, especially for our kids.
  • Be sure to tag photos with the hashtags @lionsclubsand @jjvcglobal on Facebook and Twitter. LCIF will share select photos through the Lions Clubs International official Facebook and Twitter pages.

Since 2002, LCIF and JJV’s Sight for Kids program has worked to provide eye health education and eye care and eyeglasses access to 25 million underserved school children throughout Asia, Kenya and Turkey. Surrounding World Sight Day, LCIF and JJV are ensuring their social snapshots are serving, too! Consider Donating a Photo for Sight for Kids to help Lions protect a child’s sight today! Learn more about Sight for Kids impact at www.lcif.org/sfk .

*The Donate a Photo app is available in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan only. No matter where you live, be sure to get the word out about Sight for Kids and the importance of annual professional eye exams for all children. Photos shared via the Donate a Photo app are not used for commercial purposes.

Disclosure: You can donate a photo to one cause, once a day. For every photo donated to Sight for Kids, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. will donate US$1 to that cause. You can donate photos to Sight for Kids until December 25, 2017, or until it reaches its goal of US$40,000, whichever comes first. Sight for Kids will receive a minimum of US$20,000.


Legacy Project Is a Walk in the Park for Jarvis Lions Club

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When the Jarvis Lions Club in Ontario, Canada, was contemplating a Centennial Legacy Project, they were dreaming big. This group of ambitious Lions wanted to create a project that was spectacular, yet practical. One that others would take notice of to attain maximum visibility for their club and for the service that Lions perform every day around the world.

Their dream began to take shape when several club members visited a nearby community that had a paved walking trail encircling a lake in one of its parks. The Jarvis Lions loved the idea of installing a trail in their own community. Although Jarvis doesn’t have a lake, they thought that the Lions Ball Park would be the perfect place for a trail. They pitched the idea to club members, and their dream soon became a reality in the form of the Jarvis Lions Walking Trail.

“We wanted to sponsor a significant project that would involve our residents, local businesses and elected representatives,” said Rick Fess, co-chair of the Special Projects Committee. “We also wanted to create something that could be used by everyone—those who live here and those who visit.”

So the Lions got busy fundraising. They solicited dozens of area companies, delivering letters in person to local businesses. They appealed to individuals, posted notices on Facebook and directed funds from their annual variety show to raise money. According to Fess, however, it was the personal connections that were key to their success.

Numerous companies contributed to the project as did many area residents. Haldimand County pitched in and covered 35% of the total cost, which totaled $220,000. The project consisted of the construction of a 1.1 kilometer (.7 mile) paved walking trail with benches and solar lighting around the perimeter of the park. Club members planted trees and installed the lighting and the benches. In August of 2017, they officially opened the trail with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Every day, from sunup till sundown, people are hitting the trail to get some exercise—walking, biking, and just taking in the wonder of nature. They come with baby strollers, in wheelchairs and on senior scooters, all to enjoy the beauty of this terrific trail and to follow it wherever it leads.

“The whole community has embraced this project from the beginning,” remarked Tom Montague, co-chair of the Special Projects Committee, “and the amount that it’s being used by everyone is very rewarding. I really believe that the use of the trail will remain strong for a long time to come because it is used by people of all ages. The Jarvis Lions Club is so proud to have enhanced the recreational opportunities in our small town at no cost to the people who use it.”

What will your Lions club legacy be? This is the last year to celebrate the Centennial with a Legacy Project, so start planning yours today!


Touchstone Story–Campaign SightFirst II

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In the early 1990s, Lions raised more than $140 million to help end preventable blindness through the SightFirst program.

As a result of the massive fundraising campaign, Lions helped to save the eyesight of millions over the next decade through related grants and projects, especially cataract surgeries and other eye care services. Yet by 2002, there was much work left to do, and Lions Clubs International Foundation knew the funds wouldn’t last forever.

How would Lions build on the success of the far-reaching and life-changing program? They would do so by raising even more funds through a second campaign. The goal: at least $150 million and a stretch goal of $200 million.

“People thought we were crazy,” Past International President J. Frank Moore III said.

At the 2005 Lions Clubs International Convention in Hong Kong, Dr. Tae-Sup Lee, chairperson of the campaign, launched Campaign SightFirst II with the ringing of a gong. In Asia, tradition asserts that each strike of the gong reduces the suffering of one soul. Lions hoped to save millions of people from preventable blindness.

Campaign SightFirst II had new objectives in addition to the initial SightFirst I goals, which had included eliminating river blindness in Latin America and controlling its spread in Africa. The second campaign aimed its funds and programs at addressing emerging threats to vision such as diabetes, glaucoma and childhood blindness that affect all countries, not just those in developing nations with poor access to resources. Campaign funds would also be used for training, vision screening, eyeglasses, vision clinics and research, as well as for programs to help the blind and visually impaired whose eyesight cannot be restored.

With 30 lead gifts, Campaign SightFirst II was off and running. All over the world, Lions devoted countless hours to raising funds and awareness. Lions in Germany sold wine. The Quito Equinoccial Lions Club in Ecuador raffled off a car. Lions in Waterman, Illinois, USA, sponsored a 5K run in their town.

Members gave more than just their time and energy to fundraising. They gave personal financial donations to the campaign as well, especially Lions in Japan and Korea. Within a year, Lions raised US$60 million toward the campaign. In 2008, the campaign fundraising closed with Lions surpassing their stretch goal to reach US$205 million.

SightFirst II is funding a wide range of high-quality, sustainable projects around the globe. The Lions of District 122 in the Czech Republic received a US$133,000 grant to support training courses at the Lions Ophthalmic Education Centre in Prague. In Belize, a US$130,000 grant is helping to expand screening and treatment for eye disease associated with diabetes. Sustainable models of service, such as training and providing equipment, also continue to be a key focus of the ongoing distribution of campaign funds.

The program’s expanded scope is making SightFirst more relevant and available to Lions in all countries.

Explore the exciting history of Lions Clubs International with our exclusive Touchstone Stories series. Don’t forget to share these stories with new members so they gain an understanding of Lions history!

Volunteers handing out supplies to flood victims in Mexico

LCIF Awards Disaster Grants, September 2017

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Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) offers a variety of funding options to support various stages for disaster relief operations, including Disaster Preparedness, Emergency, Community Recovery and Major Catastrophe Grants.

For districts impacted by a natural disaster including tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis, Emergency Grants provide up to US$10,000. Lions district governors may apply for disaster relief funds to help meet immediate needs such as food, water, clothing and medical supplies. LCIF typically awards more than US$2 million in Emergency Grant funding each year. Community Recovery Grants aid districts interested in supporting short-term cleanup and repair efforts in situations where other organizations have already addressed immediate needs. Lions district governors may submit proposals for community recovery grants.

In September 2017, LCIF awarded 16 Emergency Grants and 1 Community Recovery Grant totaling US$150,000. These grants are addressing immediate needs in:

Sierra Leone, District 403-A2
US$10,000 for mudslide relief

Philippines, District 301-C
US$5,000 for typhoon relief

Nepal, District 325-B2
US$10,000 for flood relief

Bolivia, District S-2
US$10,000 for wildfire relief

Mexico, District B-9
US$10,000 for storm relief

Poland, District 121
US$20,000 for community recovery

California, USA, District 4-C1
US$10,000 for wildfire relief

Mauritania, District 403-A1
US$5,000 for storm relief

Republic of Korea, District 355-A
US$10,000 for flood relief

Philippines, District 301-D2
US$5,000 for typhoon relief

Nigeria, District 404-A2
US$10,000 for flood relief

India, District 318-B
US$5,000 for flood relief

Italy, District 108-YA
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

India, District 318-D
US$5,000 for flood relief

India, District 318-C
US$5,000 for flood relief

Dominican Republic, District R-1
US$10,000 for hurricane relief

Honduras, District D-6
US$10,000 for flood relief


Please consider making a donation to LCIF’s disaster fund today.

Donate to LCIF


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