Lions Clubs International
International Association of Lions Clubs, a civilian service club, was organized
in 1917 in Dallas, Texas, by Melvin Jones, a Chicago insurance executive.
Mr. Jones' vision was to foster a spirit of “generous consideration” among
peoples of the world and promote good government, good citizenship, and
an active interest in civic, social, commercial, and moral welfare. Mr. Jones' personal code, "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else," serves to remind all Lions of the importance of community service.
Lions International would quickly grow. In 1920, only three years after it
was founded, it became an international organization when a Lions Club
was organized in Canada. In 1927 a Club was organized in Mexico and by
the 1960's clubs had been formed in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Headquartered
now in Oak Brook, Illinois, it is now the largest of all service club organizations, with a membership of 1.4 million members in Lions Clubs spanning over
In 1925, Helen Keller addressed the Lions Clubs International Convention in
Cedar Point, Ohio. At this meeting, Miss Keller challenged Lions to become
"knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." Since then, the primary commitment of Lions has been to aid the blind and visually impaired.
In addition, Lion International now also places focus on opportunities for
youth, work with the deaf, international relations, citizenship, education,
social, recreational and public services.