In 1917, the United States entered World War I, causing rapid industrial growth that led to many social problems, such as child labor, overcrowding and rapid spread of disease. Because of this, reformers sought ways to improve the conditions in their communities. Among them was Melvin Jones, secretary of the Business Circle.
He proposed this idea to his fellow club members who gave him the approval to gather clubs together for a meeting in Chicago. On June 7th, 1917, the first meeting was held with the Circle and a few other groups in attendance. It was then that the International Association of Lions Clubs was born. The first Lions Convention in Dallas, Texas opened on October 8th of the same year. Lions became international in 1920 when they chartered the first club in Ontario, Canada.
Be sure to watch the video above –the first in a series of centennial videos –to learn about the important events that took place in during the beginning years of Lions Clubs International. You can download or view the entire Lions Quarterly on the Lions News Network.
Every club leader wants to achieve successful club projects, but sometimes it is hard to know where to begin and how to proceed. This popular webinar provides practical, useful guidance on effective project management. The presentation will review:
Gather the tools for project excellence–register today for one of the two sessions available!
Register below for one of the two time slots:
Past Council Chairperson Joe Pitts
Past Council Chairperson Mark Lyon
Past District Governor Ruth Roberts
Lions and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) have supported the vaccination of millions of children through the Measles & Rubella Initiative and our partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. While there is still much work to be done, there continues to be great progress made in the fight against measles.
Recently, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, celebrated its 15th anniversary at the World Economic Forum in Davos. During that celebration, Gavi announced that half a billion children have received vaccinations and seven million deaths have been avoided because of Gavi-supported immunization programs. LCIF is proud to be a supporting partner of Gavi.
Lions, in partnership with Gavi, have already helped to immunize more than 20 million children and have pledged to immunize another 100 million! LCIF Chairperson Barry Palmer is in Berlin today representing LCIF at Gavi’s Reach Every Child pledging conference. The conference surpassed its goal of US$7.5 billion, fully funding vaccine programs during the 2016-2020 period.
Our partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance continues the work of Lions in the fight against measles and rubella. The partnership will protect tens of millions of children in the world’s poorest countries against measles.
Lions play a key role in social mobilization efforts by working with local leaders, coordinating local publicity, and serving as volunteers at vaccination centers. Lions are working with parents to get their children to be immunized. Lions are working with ministries of health and other partners to ensure that children are vaccinated. Lions are spreading the word about just how important immunizations are, and are fighting for a safer, healthier and brighter future for the children who need us most.
When you make a donation to the One Shot, One Life: Lions’ Measles Initiative, you are helping to save children’s lives!
Today’s guest blog post is from the Toronto Cathay Lions Club in Canada. Less than a year ago, PDG Raija Rosenthal received a chance to improve eyesight and asked the Toronto Cathay Lions to take on that challenge –to make an impact, not only in their local community, but in the lives of many living in Uganda. Follow the Toronto Cathay Lions on Facebook for more information about this project.
A chance encounter on an escalator at the Lions Clubs International Convention in Toronto, Canada last summer has brought the chance to improve eyesight of 3,000 people in Uganda.
While stuck briefly in a crowd, PDG Lion Raija Rosenthal asked Lion Dr. Charles B.R. Ibingira, a Uganda delegate, “How can we help?”
Canadian Lions collect thousands of pairs of used eyeglasses today which are cleaned, repaired and shipped from Quebec to third world countries, but the Toronto Cathay Lions Club went a step further by purchasing 3,000 new reading glasses and will pay for their shipment to Uganda. Providing specified magnification for thousands of sufferers will help make the distribution quicker and more efficient.
The Kampala Central Lions Club’s president has responded with gratitude to the Toronto Cathay club, calling its members, “Knights of the Blind.” He is hopeful the glasses will arrive in time for distribution at the two upcoming camps to aid many of Uganda’s sight impaired.
The Toronto Cathay Lions will be holding a Press Conference on Thursday, January 29th in Toronto, Canada at the Ugandan Consulate to announce the purchase of the new glasses and their benefit to those in Uganda.
A Special Olympics athlete from Poland, 17-year-old Tomasz Banas had never had his eyes checked. Like many intellectually disabled people, he was living with the added difficulty of poor eyesight due to not receiving proper eye care. Among Special Olympics athletes, 68 percent have not had an eye examination in three years, 37 percent are in need of eyeglasses and 18 percent wear clinically incorrect eyeglasses.
Fortunately, the Lions Clubs International-Special Olympics Opening Eyes program works with the Special Olympics to conduct vision screenings, fit glasses and refer urgent needs to eye specialists. At Banas’ games, Lions helped to screen 900 athletes and gave free glasses to 288 athletes. Lions are crucial to Opening Eyes’ success: more than 15,000 Lions have volunteered in the program. Volunteer optometrists/ophthalmologists, optometry students, opticians and optical center employees work alongside the Lions volunteers, providing diagnosis and referrals, and teaching the athletes how to better care for their eyes.
Opening Eyes is celebrating 10 years of the Lions/Special Olympics joint partnership. Since the program began, LCIF has contributed a total of US$13.39 million in funding, and more than 99,000 athletes have received prescription eyewear.
When Banas arrived at the September 2010 Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia Regional Games in Warsaw to compete in badminton, he was excited. But, Banas was unaware that getting his vision screened might be the most remarkable thing to happen to him at the games. Banas became the 200,000th athlete to receive vision screening by Opening Eyes, and he did need glasses. Banas’ new glasses helped him score gold in doubles badminton and silver in singles badminton.
From LCIF: Our Impact Story Archives
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