Lions are volunteer members of clubs grouped under an international organization who enjoy fellowship, develop leadership capacities, and dedicate part of their free time to help those in need all over the world, while making their own communities better places in which to live.
Lionism began in the United States in 1917, when a group of independent clubs responded to an ideal presented to them by Melvin Jones, a young Chicago insurance agent.
The ideal was one of service as a group to humanity without regard to politics, religion, race or in any way the personal interests of the members. This was heralded as a departure from the trend at that time of forming clubs basically with a commercial motive. A conference was called of some 25 independent clubs on June 7, 1917, and from this meeting the organization was born.
At the association's international convention in 1925, Helen Keller appealed to Lions to become "Knights for the blind…leading the way out of darkness." Since that time, sight preservation and sight-related issues have been a focus of the association and individual clubs worldwide.
The International Association of Lions Clubs has grown to be the largest service club organization in the world, represented by 45,731 clubs with a membership of over 1.3 million in 738 districts in 190 countries and geographical areas.
Clubs International Foundation
In South Dakota we have received L.C.I.F. grants to help establish our SD Lions Eye & Tissue Bank and, most recently, to help fund the Lions' new Mobile Screening Unit. These grants alone totaled $125,000. South Dakota cities receiving disaster aid include Rapid City, following the 1972 flood; Redfield, after a major fire; flood victims in Watertown, Madison and Deuel County; and most recently, Spencer, following the 1998 tornado.
Become a Lion
are held at the Dell Rapids
Pizza Ranch at 6:30 pm on the first Thursday of each month. Meetings
Oct. 11, 2019
Oct. 25, 2019
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