Unveiling of Mahatma Gandhi Statue in Oak Brook

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Lions Clubs International President, Dr. Naresh Aggarwal, with the Consulate General of India Ms. Neeta Bhushan and Dr. Deepak Kant Vyas, Chairperson of Redberri Earth Foundation, unveiled a larger than life size bronze sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi at the world headquarters of Lions International in Oak Brook, Illinois on October 30, 2017.

Donated by Dr. Kant Vyas, the Gandhi sculpture is 5.1″ high. It is made of bronze and has been designed by world renowned artist Philip Jackson. The statue sits atop a white marble pedestal. The total height of the sculpture is 7.1″ and its total weight is about 2200 lbs. The Consulate in coordination with Redberri Earth Foundation and Mr. Deepak Kant Vyas family Foundation is planning for permanent installation of the sculpture at an appropriate location in Chicago to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Dr. Deepak Kant Vyas, Chairperson of Redberri Earth Foundation, and Consulate General of India Ms. Neeta Bhushan

Mahatma Gandhi is fondly called the “Father of the Nation” in India. He was a legendary figure who led India to independence through peace and non-violence . Albert Einstein had once said about him “Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.” Mahatma Gandhi had inspired several world leaders including Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela. His philosophy has been a beacon of hope and peace around the world.

The Gandhi Statue will be on display at Lions Clubs International for the next several months before making its way to a yet-to-be-named permanent location downtown Chicago.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization, with over 1.4 million members in 200 countries or geographic areas. Lions are devoted to serving the underserved in areas such as vision and blindness prevention, hunger relief, improving the environment, youth services, and diabetes prevention and awareness.


1st USA/Canada LEO Leadership Forum

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For the first time, Leos from Constitutional Areas I & II participated in a Leo Area Forum in New York, New York USA.  Lion Pablo Romano led efforts to organize the forum and shares his thoughts on what made this event so special.


What was great about this event?

The best part of this event was the friendships that were made by Leos. These Leos arrived not knowing a soul in the room and made connections with Leos from other parts of the country.


What inspired you to lead this event?

As a former Leo, it was always my dream to develop an event where Leos from throughout the region could gather to learn, interact and have fun.



What was the most memorable part of the event?

The most memorable part of the event was the UN Women training that Leos received. Just to hear these young leaders talk about global issues was inspiring.


Check out this video which highlights the 2017 event.


Don’t miss out on upcoming international Leo events! For a list of events near you, check out the Leo events webpage.



Charity Navigator Four Star Banner

LCIF Receives 6th Consecutive 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator

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Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is pleased to announce the receipt of our sixth consecutive 4-Star Charity Navigator rating, the highest possible rating awarded.  Only 5% of evaluated organizations achieve six consecutive four-star ratings, which means that LCIF exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities serving similar causes.  Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator is the largest and most-utilized charity evaluator in the United States. Charity Navigator examines the financial health, accountability and transparency of charities to determine its ratings.

LCIF’s 4-star rating indicates that it consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.  For many years, it has been LCIFs board policy that all administrative expenses be covered by income generated from investments.  In practice, LCIFs investment income covers both administrative and fundraising expenses.  This means that 100% of donations received by LCIF go directly to the causes we serve.  LCIF receives no portion of Lions Clubs International club dues.

For more information, we invite you to review Charity Navigator’s analysis of LCIF here.


Donate to LCIF

Since LCIF’s founding in 1968, more than US$1 billion in grants have been awarded.  This has been made possible because of the generosity of Lions and partners, and due to LCIF’s fiscal responsibility. Donors can be confident that funds entrusted to LCIF will support initiatives that impact communities and change lives.



Touchstone Story–Musical Lions

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Where can you hear a lion sing like a bird?

Lions Clubs International founder Melvin Jones said that some of the earliest club meetings could be quiet affairs until someone broke out into song.

“It seemed to me that the meetings were pretty dead until we limbered them up with song,” said Jones, who sang tenor. “Everybody talked business with his neighbor at the luncheon table, and when that subject was exhausted, he just shut up and kept his eyes on his plate. A few rounds of ‘Tipperary’ and ‘I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl’ ended all that.”

In 1926, Songs for Lions, the first official Lions Clubs International Songbook, was published. The songbook included reworked, Lions-themed lyrics to popular tunes like “Ain’t We Got Fun,” as well as an original composition called “Don’t You Hear Those Lions Roar?” with music and lyrics by Lions Joseph W. Thurston and Robert Kellogg of Hartford, Connecticut. Voices rang out in convention halls everywhere:

He makes his home in a jungle den
He feeds on meat and also men
King of beasts, he kills and preys
He’s the lord of the forest
Til he end his days.
Roaring, he bites ‘em!
Snarling, he fights ‘em!
Monarch of all he surveys.

You should hear those Lions roar
Their snarling, rumbling roar
So roar, Lions! Bite ‘em! Bite ‘em! Bite ‘em!
Don’t you hear those Lions, hear those Lions
Hear those Lions roar!

Sharing the joy of music is also part of how Lions serve. Whether it’s the Calgary Lions Club of Alberta, Canada, providing symphony tickets for students from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, or sponsorship of an annual music festival in Victoria, Texas, Lions have given their communities the gift of song throughout the years.

Lions are still known to break out in song today. To emphasize his chosen theme, Strengthening the Pride, Joe Preston of Dewey, Arizona, international president from 2014-15, told the 2014 International Convention in Toronto that “if we want to energize members, we have to touch their hearts.” Speaking about the importance of being a Lion and not merely attending meetings, Joe broke out into a song of his own composition:

Strengthen the pride through service
For causes worthy and just
Strengthen the pride through involvement
Belonging is never enough

Dig down deep
Let it go and roar like a Lion
Tell the whole world we’ll never stop tryin’

We are the Lions Clubs
We can’t be denied, no, no, no
So dig down deep and Strengthen the Pride

So, where can you hear a lion sing like a bird? It’s a bit of a trick question. The answer is, at a Lions club meeting, anywhere in the world.

Explore the exciting history of Lions Clubs International with our exclusive Touchstone Stories series. They’re a great resource for promoting service at your club meetings!


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!



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