LIONISM - HISTORY
Beginning in 1917: Chicago business leader Melvin Jones asked a simple and world-changing question -what if people put their talent to work
improving their communities. Almost 100 years later, Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization, with 1.4 million
members in more than 47,000 clubs and countless stories of Lions acting on the same simple idea: let's improve our communities.
1920: Going International: Just three years after our founding. Lions became international when we established the first club in Canada. Mexico
followed in 1927. In the 1950s and 1960s international growth accelerated, with new clubs in Europe, Asia and Africa.
1925: Eradicating Blindness: Helen Keller addressed the Lions Clubs International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, USA and challenged Lions to
become 'knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." Since then, we have worked tirelessly to aid the blind and visually impaired.
1945: Uniting Nations: The ideal of an international organization is exemplified by our enduring relationship with the United Nations. We were one of the
first non governmental organizations invited to assist in the drafting of the United Nations Charter and have supported the work of the U N ever since.
1957: Organizing Youth Programs : In the late 1950s, we created the Leo Program to provide the youth of the world with an opportunity for personal
development through volunteering. There are approximately 175,000 Leos and 7,000 Leo clubs in more than 145 countries worldwide.
1968: Establishing Our Foundation: Lions Clubs International Foundation assists Lions with global and large-scale local humanitarian projects.
Through our Foundation. Lions meet the needs of their local and global communities.
1990: Launching SightFirst: Through SightFirst, Lions are restoring sight and preventing blindness on a global scale Launched in 1990, Lions have
raised more than $346 million for this initiative. SightFirst targets the major causes of blindness: cataract, trachoma, river blindness, childhood
blindness, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
Today: Extending Our Reach: Lions Clubs International extends our mission of service every day - in local communities, in all corners of the globe. The
needs are great and our services broad, including sight, health, youth, elderly, the environment and disaster relief. Our international network has grown
to include more than 211 countries and geographic areas.
AT A GLANCE
ORIGIN: A Group of 22 independent Business Clubs responding to an idea by an insurance agent Melvin Jones came together to form a single group to
add the dimension of "Service to fellowmen" without regard to politics, religion or personal interests. A conference was called of these independent
Clubs on June 7,1917 and Lionism was born.
FOUNDED: June 7,1917, LaSalle Hotel, Chicago
FIRST CONVENTION: Octobers-10,1917, Dallas, Texas, Constitutions Bye-Laws, Objects and Code of Ethics were approved.
FIRSTCLUB OUTSIDE USA: In 1920, Canada and became truly International Organization.
THE NAME: The official name of the Organization is: The International Association of Lions Clubs, in short "Lions Clubs International".
THE MOTTO: WE SERVE (adopted atthe 37th International Convention in New York City)
THE SLOGAN:"Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation's Safety" (Interpretation given to the letters L-I-O-N-S by Lion Halsted Ritter)
THE PLEDGE: Not aboveyou-Not beneath you-but always with you.
MISSION STATEMENT: To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international
understanding through Lions clubs.
VISION STATEMENT: To be the global leader in community and humanitarian service.
LIONS INTERNATIONAL PLEDGE: I pledge allegiance to my country and to all cause of peace, throughout the world I believe in the principles of Lionism
as contained in the Code of Ethics, I am proud to be Lion, dedicated to the service of others.
THE EMBLEM: Designed by Maurice Blink and approved by the International Board on 31 -12-21. It consists of a gold letter 'L' on a circular purple field.
Bordering this is a circular gold area with conventionalized Lion profiles at either side, facing away from the centre. The Word "Lions" appears at the top
and "International" at the bottom. Symbolically, the lions face both past and future. Proud of the Past and confident of the future, marching from a great
past to a grand future. It is the unwritten obligation of every Lion to wear and to display this emblem with pride.
THE BASIS OF MEMBERSHIP: Any male or female person of legal majority, good moral character and good reputation in his/her community, may be
granted membership in a duly authorized Lions Club. Membership is by invitation only.
MEMBERS: More than 1.4 million.
CLUBS: More than 47,000.
CONSTITUTIONAL AREAS:(1) United States of America, its affiliates Bermuda and the Bahamas (2) Canada (3) South America,
Central America, Mexico & Islands of Carabian Sea (4) Europe (5) The Orient and South east Asia (6) India, South East Asia, and Middle East (ISAME)
(7) Australia, New Zealand, Papua, New Guinea, Indonesia & the Islands of the South Pacific Ocean (8) Africa
COUNTRIES: 211 countries
HELLENKELLER'S ADDRESS TO LIONS: 1925 Cedar Point,0hio, USA Convention, while addressing. Helen Keller challenged Lions to become Knights
of the Blind in the crusade against darkness.
BECOMING A MEMBER: Membership in a Lions club is by invitation. It's also possible to start a new club.