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LCIF Awards Disaster Grants, September 2015

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When natural disasters strike, Lions are there to offer help and support. In times of need, Lions are able to rely on disaster relief grants and funds from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF). Emergency grants provide up to US$10,000 for districts impacted by a natural disaster that has affected at least 100 people, including tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and tsunamis.

In September 2015, LCIF awarded 15 emergency and disaster relief grants totaling US$128,500. These grants are addressing immediate needs in:

Turkey, District 118-U
$10,000 for flood relief

Dominica, District 60-B
$10,000 for storm relief

Washington, USA, District 19-D
$10,000 for wildfire relief

Bangladesh, District 315-B1
$5,000 for flood relief

India, District 318-A
$5,000 for flood relief

Brazil, District LC-8DSC07903
$10,000 for windstorm relief

Portugal, District 115-CN
$3,500 for wildfire relief

Japan, District 333-B

$10,000 for flood relief

Japan, District 332-C
$10,000 for flood relief

California, USA, District 4-A1
$10,000 for wildfire relief

California, USA, District 4-C2
$10,000 for wildfire relief

Italy, District 108-IB3
$10,000 for flood relief

Chile, District T-1
$5,000 for earthquake relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-F
$10,000 for typhoon relief


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LCICon: Relive Honolulu, Register for Fukuoka

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The 99th Lions International Convention is in Fukuoka, Japan, on June 24-28, 2016. Registration is now open!

As the largest commercial city in Kyushu and dating back 1,400 years, Fukuoka is an attractive city that blends the old with the new. The city is known as a gourmet food city, with fresh seafood and food stands lining one of Japan’s largest entertainment districts. Lions from around the world will enjoy Japanese culture as they meet friends, attend plenary sessions and seminars, walk in the colorful Parade of Nations and more.

Learn more about LCICon Fukuoka on the LCICon website, and keep up to date on Facebook.

Watch the video above for highlights from LCICon Honolulu.


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SightFirst in South Asia

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During a recent SightFirst Advisory Comittee (SAC) meeting, nine grants were approved for vision projects in South Asia, totaling US$1,533,736.

Bangladesh, District 315-B2
A US$136,063 grant was awarded to the Lions in District 315-B2 for human resources training and to upgrade the Dhaka Progressive Lions Eye Hospital in Narsingdi. It is estimated that 319,505 people will benefit from this upgrade.

India, District 323-F2
A US$54,918 grant was awarded to the Lions in District 323-F2 to purchase an operating microscope, which will upgrade the diabetic retinopathy unit at the Tejas Eye Hospital in Mandvi, India. It is estimated that 5,000 diabetics will benefit from this upgrade.

India, District 323-G2
A US$415,434 grant was awarded to the Lions in District 323-G2 for human resources training, eye health education and service delivery at the Sadguru Netra Chikitsalaya and Sagduru Sankalk Netra Chikitsalaya eye hospitals in Madhya Pradesh. The grant will also provide equipment for two diabetic retinopathy units to enhance these hospitals’ diagnostic and surgical capacity. It is estimated that 18,750 diabetics will benefit from this project.

India, District 316-EIndia Nepal Bangladesh
A US$136,718 grant was awarded to the Lions in District 316-E for human resources training, eye health education and to upgrade the M.S. Reddy Lions Eye Hospital in Hyderabad, India. It is estimated that 11,220 patients will benefit from this project.

India, District 322-C3
A US$94,145 grant was awarded to the Lions in District 322-C3 to upgrade the Panagarh Bazar Lions Eye Hospital in West Bengal, and to establish eight primary eye care centers. It is estimated that 35,250 patients will benefit from this upgrade.

India, District 318-B
A US$85,215 grant was awarded to the Lions in District 318-B for human resources training, eye health education and to upgrade the Lions Charitable Trust Eye Hospital in Kottayam, Kerala. It is estimated that 3,850 people will benefit from this grant.

Nepal, District 325-A2
A US$146,595 grant was awarded to the Lions in District 325-A2 for human resources training, eye health education and to upgrade the NNJS Eye Hospital in Gaur. It is estimated that 110,000 people will benefit from this upgrade.

Nepal, District 325-B2
A US$177,148 grant was awarded to the Lions in District 325-B2 for human resources training, eye health education and to establish a diabetic retinopathy unit at the Ramkumar Mahabir Prasad Kedia Hospital in Birgunj. It is estimated that 5,000 diabetics will benefit from this upgrade.

Nepal, Multiple District 325
US$287,500 was awarded to the Lions in Multiple District 325 to provide 7,500 cataract surgeries to underserved populations in Nepal. Twenty-one Lions and Lions-affiliated eye hospitals will lead outreach efforts, with the support of local Lions membership to provide cataract surgical services to patients who would otherwise be unable to access eye care services. Lions are also responsible for underwriting half of the costs for each surgery, and will be involved in identifying areas targeted for outreach.

Lions and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) are committed to saving sight around the world.

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White Cane Safety Day

Today is White Cane Safety Day!

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On White Cane Safety Day, Lions everywhere work to increase awareness about white cane traffic safety.

In 1921, James Biggs, a photographer from Bristol, England, became blind following an accident. Because he was feeling uncomfortable with the amount of traffic around his home, he painted his walking stick white to be more easily visible.

In 1930, Lion George A. Bonham, President of the Peoria Lions Club (Illinois) introduced the idea of using the white cane with a red band as a means of assisting the blind in independent mobility. The Peoria Lions approved the idea, white canes were made and distributed, and the Peoria City Council adopted an ordinance giving the bearers the right of way to cross the street. News of the club’s activity spread quickly to other Lions clubs throughout the United States, and their visually handicapped friends experimented with the white canes. Overwhelming acceptance of the white cane idea by the blind and sighted alike quickly gave cane users a unique method of identifying their special need for travel consideration among their sighted counterparts.

Also in 1931, in France, Guilly d’Herbemont recognized the danger to blind people in traffic and launched a national “white stick movement” for blind people. She donated 5,000 white canes to people in Paris.

Today, white cane laws are on the books of every state in the United States and a few other countries, providing persons who are blind a legal status in traffic. The white cane universally acknowledges that the bearer is blind.

For specific information contact your local government office for motor vehicles. Learn more about Lions and White Cane Safety Day on the LCI website, and watch the Knights of the Blind Centennial video for a short segment about the history of Lions and white canes.

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Tri-Village Lions Club

The Tri-Village Lions’ Membership Success Story

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Tri-Village Lions Club (13-F Ohio, USA) is not the same club it was five years ago, and that’s a good thing!

When Lion Jane Jarrow became Club President in 2010, her club seemed to be standing still and she knew changes needed to be made. Working with the club’s officers, a strategy was developed to grow membership and move from fundraising to more service-orientated projects. The club’s plan worked and successful changes occurred after only two years, a major one being the average member age dropped by 15 years. This growth continues with 94 Lions, up from 57 in 2010, celebrating the club’s 65th anniversary on September 17th.

 A Membership Growth and Satisfaction Plan that Works

When planning change, Lion Jane thought carefully on how to respect current Lions’ commitment while also attracting new members, knowing the answer may not be the same for both. Using a variety of techniques, the plan included:

  • At induction, each member receives a jar to collect loose change. While the change adds up and supports local causes, the jar serves a higher purpose as a daily reminder of what it means to be a Lion.
  • New Lions are assigned to new service projects while long term members continue to lead existing projects. This alleviates concerns that established members may be “pushed aside” when new Lions join and increases the ways the club can serve its community.
  • Service projects are planned to need only a small group of volunteers and vary in time. By having multiple opportunities to choose from each month, Lions are able to attend projects that fit their schedule and it is not expected for Lions to attend all service projects.
  • Membership growth follows the “Ohio Plan” developed by MD 13 and provides detail on how to successfully host an informational recruitment event. The three times Tri-Village Lions followed the Ohio Plan resulted in 6-7 new members each time.
  • Connections are made in the community through a focused communication strategy. The club’s goal is to appear in one non-Lion publication each month to help increase awareness about Lions in the community.

LCI Resources to Help Your Club Grow

As Jane’s story shows, all it takes is a membership growth plan and LCI is here to help you! Check out the many resources available to help your club grow today:

How has your club invited new members or retained existing members this year? Send us your success stories and photos to

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