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About the Lions Club in Big Rapids

Lions Clubs International was founded in Evansville, Indiana on 24 October 1916 by William Perry Woods and subsequently evolved as an international service organization under the guidance and supervision of its secretary, Melvin Jones.

In 1917, Jones was a 38-year-old Chicago business leader who 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. The Business Circle subsequently joined one of the invited groups, the “International Association of Lions Clubs” and at a national convention held in Dallas, Texas, later that year, those who were assembled: (1) adopted a Constitution, By-Laws, Code of Ethics and an Emblem; (2) established as a main tenet “unselfish service to others”, (3) unanimously elected Woods as its first president ,effectively securing his leadership for the first two years of the existence of the International Association of Lions, and (4) selected Jones to serve as the organization’s secretary-treasurer.[3]

The Lions motto is “We Serve”. Local Lions Club programs include sight conservation, hearing and speech conservation, diabetes awareness, youth outreach, international relations, environmental issues, and many other programs. The LIONS acronym also stands for Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nations’ Safety.[5]

Lions Clubs International (LCI) is an international non-political service organization established originally in 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, by Melvin Jones.[1] It is now headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois. As of January 2020, it had over 46,000 local clubs and more than 1.4 million members (including the youth wing Leo) in more than 200 countries around the world.[2]

What is the main purpose of the Lions Club?

Our Purpose

To Promote the principles of good government and good citizenship. To Take an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community. To Unite the clubs in the bonds of friendship, good fellowship and mutual understanding

The Lions board of directors approved Blink’s design in April 1920. Melvin Jones explained its meaning. The emblem, Jones said, “represents a lion facing the past with pride and the future with confidence, looking in all directions to render service.”

Locally:

Worlds’ largest service organization

the Lions Club was chartered on February 22, 1938 in Big Rapids

100% of public money donated is granted out. Nothing from public money is used to administer or run the local or International Lions Club

The fund-raising events are:

Ferris State Football and Big Rapids Public School Football Concessions

White Cane and Mint Candy Sales

Bands, Brews & Barbeque music festival

Support of the following local Non-Profits is possible by members working at these different events.  Because of COVID19 all of the fundraising projects have been totally eliminated.  So, with no income the club cannot financial support the local and international project would suffer greatly.  In consultation with the Big Rapids Rotary who had similar issues with funding raising it was decide to have a community giving days.  So, a committee was formed to faciality “Community Giving Day of Mecosta County 2020

Angels of Action (childhood hunger and many more programs that affect the health of the family)

Our Brother Keepers (staffing and cash to help the homeless with a warm safe place to sleep with a warm meal)

Manna Pantry and Project Starburst (food pantries)

Wise (crisis intervention and support services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Serving Mecosta, Osceola, Newaygo Counties).

Ferris SVOSH (Student Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity)

Eagle Village (helps struggling families, troubled kids, & abused/neglected children. Through camps, residential care, and more)

Eye Exams/Glasses and Hearing Aids (for local folks that cannot afford them)

Smile Boxes (boxes ofitems for kids when they enter OBK or Wise so that they have something of their own to play with)

Big Rapids Public Schools and Charter Academy Big Rapids (providing food and clothing that are needed for students)

Hope Medical Clinic of Big Rapids (provides medicine to folks that do not have insurance)

Project Kidsight (a special camera that can screen for abnormalities in the eye in kids as young as 6 months)

Paws with a cause, Leader Dogs for the Blind, Leader Dog of Michigan (regional projects that help the blind navigate life with blindless.  Items provided for free to clients)

SLD Read (help kids learn to read with dyslexia)

Open Arms Child Advocacy Center (Minimize further trauma to child victims and their non-offending family members by providing a safe, child-friendly facility that can support successful child abuse investigations, promote healing, and empower through education.)

Lions Eye Glass Mission Trips (International travel helping people with eye exams and glasses)

United States constitutions and English dictionaries handle out to local elementary students

Scholarships to local High School Students

Peace Posters Contest for Elementary Students in local Schools

Giving Day of Mecosta County 2020 (platform for all Mecosta County 501C3’s that serve the county a platform to showcase their services and needs for year end giving to the community)

State Projects

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Diabetes research)

Leader Dogs for the Blind (raises puppies and trains the dogs along with blind clients for more personal freedom at no cost to the client)

Paws with A Cause (raises puppies and trains dogs along with clients for more personal freedom who have different emotional social issues for no cost to the client)

Lions All State band (provides high school band students the platform to travel internationally as they participate in a large international convention)

Lions Club International Foundation (provides funding for International projects through endowed funds)

Lions of Michigan Service Foundation (provides funding for local project through endowed funds)

Eversight Bank and Transplantation (In 2015, the network became known as Eversight, all working together as a unified operation to deliver the highest quality services to surgeons and their patients and to continue to grow our impact around the world. Today, our services reach beyond traditional eye banking by advancing treatments of all blinding eye diseases. We recover, evaluate and provide human eye tissue for transplantation; support research into the causes and cures of blinding eye conditions)

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