CONGRATS TO APRIL 2017 TOPPERS-LIONS CLUB OF PALAI SPICE VALLEY

A Brief History Of Lions Club International

In 1917, Melvin Jones, a 38-year-old Chicago business leader, told members of his local business club they should reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world. Jones’ group, the Business Circle of Chicago, agreed.
After contacting similar groups around the United States, an organizational meeting was held on June 7, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The new group took the name of one of the invited groups, the “Association of Lions Clubs,” and a national convention was held in Dallas, Texas, USA in October of that year. A constitution, by-laws, objectives and a code of ethics were approved. And the rest is history.
As we approach our 100th anniversary in 2017, it’s moment to look back on our long and proud tradition of service and the numerous achievements of our association and Lions around the world.

LCI Historical Highlights
1917

Melvin Jones and fellow Chicago businessmen found Lions Clubs to improve the community.
The first convention takes place at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, TX.

1920

Lions Clubs become international by chartering a club in Windsor, Canada.

1925

During the international convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, Helen Keller charges Lions with becoming “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”

1926

Polar explorer and member of the Washington D.C. Lions Club, Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Jr. flies over the North Pole and carries the Lions flag with him. He flies over the South Pole later that same year.

1930

Lion George Bonham paints a cane white with a wide red band to aid the visually impaired after he witnesses a blind man having trouble crossing the street.

1931

Lions head south and establish a club in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

1933

Visitors to the Chicago World’s Fair learn about Lions clubs at the fair’s Social Science Division.

1935

Amelia Earhart, honorary member of the New York City Lions Club, completes a record-breaking nonstop flight from Los Angeles to Mexico during the Lions Clubs International Convention in Mexico City.
Local Lions donate a Talking Book machine to the Milwaukee Public Library, allowing the blind to hear books.

1939

Members of the Detroit Uptown Lions Club turn an old Michigan farmhouse into a school to train dog guides for the visually impaired, helping to popularize dog guides worldwide.

1944

The world’s first eye bank is created in New York City. Today, most eye banks are Lions-sponsored.

1945

Lions assist in drafting the United Nations Charter, starting a lasting bond with the U.N.

1946

The Lions Blind Camp on Casper Mountain in Wyoming hosts its first group of blind children.

1947

In October, Lions celebrate the 30th anniversary of the association at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. It had become the world’s largest service club organization at the time with 324,690 members in 19 nations.
Lions are given consultant status with the U.N. Economic and Social Council.

1948

Only three years after World War II, Europe sees its first Lions club in Stockholm, Sweden. Geneva, Switzerland, follows suit just days later.
A Lions club is formed in Kalaupapa on the island of Molokai, Hawaii. Kalaupapa is a leper colony and the charter members all have Hansen’s disease (leprosy).

1952

Filipino Lions reach out to Japan and encourage the chartering of the first Japanese Lions club.

1954

After an international contest among Lions, an official motto is chosen: “We Serve.” The motto was submitted by Lion D. A. Stevenson of Font Hill, Ontario, Canada.

1956

Visitors to the Chicago World’s Fair learn about Lions clubs at the fair’s Social Science Division.

1957

Lions launch youth programs, including the very successful Leo Clubs.

1965

Lions build the Melvin Jones Lions International Memorial in Fort Thomas, Arizona.

1968

The Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is established. Since its founding, LCIF has given more than US$826 million in grants to support the humanitarian work of Lions.

1971

LCI moves to its fourth and final location in Oak Brook, IL, after decades in downtown Chicago.

1972

LCIF sends out its first grant – US$5,000 to assist victims of flooding in South Dakota.

1973

In February, the association welcomes its one millionth member.

1977

In February, the association welcomes its one millionth member.

1985

LCIF awards its first Major Catastrophe Grant of US$50,000 for earthquake relief in Mexico.

1986

Mother Teresa accepts the Lions Humanitarian Award.

1987

The association amends its bylaws and invites women to become members. Women are now the fastest growing segment of new members.

1990

SightFirst is launched, eventually raising more than $415 million dollars to help eradicate major causes of blindness.

1995

LCIF partners with The Carter Center, led by former US president and Lion Jimmy Carter, to combat river blindness in Africa and Latin America.

1999

Nilofer Bakhtiar of Pakistan is elected as the first female international director of the association.

2001

LCIF and Special Olympics partner on Opening Eyes, an initiative to screen the vision of Special Olympics athletes.

2002

Lions charter two clubs in China, the nation’s first voluntary membership group since the 1950s.

2003

Through SightFirst, Lions and The Carter Center record their 50 millionth river blindness treatment.

2004

Lions mobilize more than US$15 million for South Asia tsunami relief following the disaster.

2007

The Financial Times ranks LCIF as best non-governmental organization worldwide to partner with.

2010

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation contributes US$5 million to the One Shot: One Life campaign, and Lions raise more than US$10 million to support measles efforts over the next two years.

2011

LCIF awards its 10,000th grant – bringing the total amount awarded to US$708 million.

Lions help administer 148 millionth dose of Mectizan to treat river blindness.

Following the Japan earthquake and tsunami, Lions mobilize over US$21 million for relief efforts.

2013

LCIF partners with the GAVI Alliance to protect millions of children from measles and rubella. LCIF commits US$30 million for immunizations, matched by US$30 million from UK Government and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, bringing the total to US$60 million.

Colombia eliminates river blindness with the support of Lions and The Carter Center partnership.

2014

Lions launch the Centennial Service Challenge, a global initiative to serve 100 million people around the world.

2017

Lions celebrate their 100thanniversary and first century of service!