Making “Mission: Inclusion” a Success in Australia

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logoHA_Opening_Eyes_LCI-Mark_CMYKLions can make a big difference in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. In Australia, the Inner Sydney West Special Olympics Lions Club is exemplifying the partnership between Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF)  and Special Olympics.

LCIF has been partnering with Special Olympics since 2001 through the Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes vision screening program. Now, the partnership’s efforts are having a much wider reach.

Called “Mission: Inclusion,” the partnership expansion is creating leadership opportunities for Special Olympics athletes, increasing the health work of Special Olympics, and conducting outreach to families for additional support. Both organizations  can now reach more young people through inclusive sports and advocacy programs in an effort to achieve full acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in their communities.


Jamie Elvie of the Inner Sydney West Special Olympics Lions Club of Australia

Athletes and Lions club members like Jamie Elvie know the true value of inclusion:

“Through Lions, [athletes] will develop skills in organization, goal setting and managing their time. Most importantly, though, they will have the pleasure of helping others. Rather than being the recipient of charity they will be able to dispense it and discover the rewards of knowing that you are contributing to your community,” said Elvie.

Elvie joined the Inner Sydney West Special Olympics Lions Club of Australia four years ago. He has been a member of Special Olympics since 2009: first as an athlete in several sports, and now through managing athletes at ten-pin bowling.

“I was already involved with the local Special Olympics and it was a logical move to join a Lions club that had a focus on helping Special Olympics,” said Elvie.

Through this specialty club, a variety of Lions’ projects support people in need both locally and globally. At the same time, the club focuses on Special Olympics on the regional and national levels. This focus gives Elvie and other Special Olympic members a chance to work with their fellow Lions on what the Special Olympic athletes need, as well as address the community on Lions clubs and Special Olympics, encouraging support for both.

“Many of the club members are also long-term members of Special Olympics, either as athletes or as parents/care-givers of athletes and consequently have strong understanding of how Special Olympics operates and a keen interest in seeing the organization well supported,” said Elvie.

Tony Moore with LCIF Chairperson Palmer

Inner Sydney West Special Olympics Lions Club President Tony Moore (far right) with LCIF Chairperson Barry Palmer, Anne Palmer, and fellow Lions

Tony Moore, president of the Inner Sydney West Special Olympics Lions Club, is grateful for how the members contribute to the club’s activities.

“There is no difference between Special Olympic athlete members and other members. The only distinction is that they have unique insights into Special Olympics and the needs of athletes which, as a club, we tap into,” said Moore.

Formed in 2009, the Inner Sydney West Special Olympics Lions Club of Australia truly exemplifies Mission: Inclusion.

“The objective is to provide developmental opportunities for the athletes and to ensure that the athletes are represented and have a voice in decision making,” said Moore. “From experience we know the value athletes bring to an organization, whether through their various skills or their capacity to present to the public or through their enormous enthusiasm and commitment.”

For more information about special interest clubs for Special Olympics, visit the Lions Clubs International website. Visit the Special Olympics website to learn more about the organization and its efforts.

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2015 Environmental Photo Contest

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The Environmental Photo Contest is a way for Lions around the world to share their pictures that capture the awe-inspiring magnificence that is found in nature. These photos can fall under any one of the following five categories:

  • Animal Life
  • Plant Life
  • Urban or Natural Landscapes
  • Weather Phenomenon
  • Special theme –Lions’ Pride in our Environment: Capturing the magnificent beauty and grandeur of our natural environment

Clubs are encouraged to hold their local Environmental Photo Contest and submit the “Best of Show” photo to their district office. Lions Districts need to send their winning photo to their Multiple Districts by January 15, 2015. Multiple Districts will then choose their winning photo, which they must submit to Lions Headquarters in Oakbrook, IL by March 1, 2015 along with a Multiple District Entry Form.

“Will my photo count?” In order for your photo to be eligible for the Environmental Photo Contest, your photo needs to follow these rules:

  • Photo must have been taken by a Lions club member
  • Must be an original, unaltered photo
  • May be submitted in black-and-white or color
  • Photos are depictions of the environment –please, do not include people.

We ask that you only send one photo entry per Multiple District. We will not accept multiple entries.

Feel free to contact us with any questions.

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Fighting Eye Diseases That Cause Blindness

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“With the support and commitment of hundreds of thousands of Lions, who strive to alleviate the unnecessary suffering caused by eye diseases, The Carter Center and its partners are poised to win the fight against river blindness in the Western Hemisphere.” – Former U.S. President, Nobel Laureate and Lion Jimmy Carter, Co-Founder and Trustee, The Carter Center

River blindness

Approximately 120 million people in Africa and Latin America are at risk of contracting onchocerciasis, or “river blindness,” and despite major advances in control, 18 million people remain heavily infected. Since LCIF’s SightFirst program and The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, first forged a partnership in 1999, just over 153 million people in Africa and Latin America have received treatments of Mectizan for river blindness. LCIF has awarded The Carter Center more than US$40 million to help support its battle to eradicate this devastating, but easily preventable, disease.

Receiving these simple treatments for river blindness has transformed the lives of people in 15 countries, giving them a chance to live more productive lives, stay in their home villages without fear of contracting river blindness and be free of the debilitating effects of this disease. As this important project continues, the goal is for river blindness to actually come to a halt; in fact, the eradication of the disease in Latin America is projected for 2012. In 2008, Colombia became the first of the six river blindness endemic nations to break the transmission of onchocerciasis. In March 2010, Ecuador became the second nation in the Americas to halt the transmission of onchocerciasis.


LCIF also is partnering with The Carter Center to battle trachoma in two African nations. Trachoma is one of the oldest known infectious diseases and the leading cause of preventable blindness, affecting 6 million people and putting another 500 million at risk. LCIF has provided US$10 million for eight ongoing projects and funding assistance to The Carter Center. Funds help support tens of thousands of operations, training medical professionals, providing medicines and strengthening eye care centers in underserved areas.

Together, LCIF and The Carter Center will continue battling these eye diseases that cause blindness and unnecessary suffering. “Thanks to our partners, we see the success of our work in the eyes of children who will never go blind and in the faces of parents who now have hope that their lives can improve,” said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

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LQ: Lions Multi-Generation House

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Multi-Generation houses, located in communities around Germany, offer many different activities to bring children, adults and seniors together in support of one another. The Troisdorf Lions Club in Germany got involved with their local Multi-Generation house, which helps support the city’s large immigrant population. Learning a second language can be difficult, but with the help of the Troisdorf Lions, immigrant women are learning how to read and write German –helping them better integrate into the community.

Watch the clip above to see how the Troisdorf Lions Club is helping immigrants and children feel at home in the local culture. You can view the entire July Lions Quarterly on the Lions News Network.

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Ask a Lion

Ask a Lion: IP Joe Preston

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What questions do you have for our International President, Joe Preston?Is there anything you would like to know about Lions- our future, our membership, our projects? Well, now you have a chance to ask him. President Preston is the guest Lion for the new Ask a Lion page in an upcoming issue of the LION magazine.

You can submit your questions by posting a comment to our Ask a Lion Facebook post or by emailing us at President Preston will choose several questions to answer in the LION magazine.

If you had the chance to sit and chat with our International President, what would you ask?

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