Lions International was founded by Melvin Jones in 1917 as a result of his dream to form a local business club for the betterment of the community and the world at large.
A favorite saying of his was “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for someone else.”That passion was his way of life.
He contacted similar organizations around the country and invited them to a meeting in June 1917. Most agreed to merge, taking the name of the largest of the groups, the Indiana based Association of Lions Clubs. Later that year the first convention was held in Dallas, Texas, where the constitution was adopted and the first president, Dr. W.P. Woods, was elected.
In 1925, Helen Keller addressed the Lions clubs International convention in Cedar Point, Ohio and challenged them to become “Knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”
From that time, the primary mission of Lions Clubs International has been to rid the world of preventable and reversible blindness and provide services for people who are already blind or visually impaired.
Lions are also involved in disaster aid and giving to those in need in communities far and near. To date, there are 46,000 Lions clubs in 206 countries with over 1.3 million members.