Lions Club: 100 Years of Service

Being a company whose soul product is service to our customers, Three i encourages their employees to volunteer in the community and in service organizations. Three i Design would like to congratulate a service organization, the Lions Clubs International, on completing a hundred years of service.

In 1917, Melvin Jones, a 38-year-old Chicago business leader, 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, Illinois, USA. The new group took the name of one of the invited groups, the “Association of Lions Clubs,” and a national convention was held in Dallas, Texas, USA in October of that year. A constitution, by-laws, objectives and a code of ethics were approved. And the rest is history.

The following are some highlights of Lions history.

1917: Melvin Jones and fellow Chicago businessmen found Lions Clubs to improve the community.

1920: Lions Clubs become international by chartering a club in Windsor, Canada.

1925: During the international convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, Helen Keller charges Lions with becoming “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”

1930: Lion George Bonham paints a cane white with a wide red band to aid the visually impaired after he witnesses a blind man having trouble crossing the street.

1931: Lions head south and establish a club in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

1939: Members of the Detroit Uptown Lions Club turn an old Michigan farmhouse into a school to train dog guides for the visually impaired, helping to popularize dog guides worldwide.

1944: The world’s first eye bank is created in New York City. Today, most eye banks are Lions-sponsored.

1945: Lions assist in drafting the United Nations Charter, starting a lasting bond with the U.N.

1948: Only three years after World War II, Europe sees its first Lions club in Stockholm, Sweden. Geneva, Switzerland, follows suit just days later.

1954: After an international contest among Lions, an official motto is chosen: “We Serve.” The motto was submitted by Lion D. A. Stevenson of Font Hill, Ontario, Canada.

1968: The Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is established. Since its founding, LCIF has given more than US$826 million in grants to support the humanitarian work of Lions.

1972: LCIF sends out its first grant – US$5,000 to assist victims of flooding in South Dakota.

1990: SightFirst is launched, eventually raising more than $415 million dollars to help eradicate major causes of blindness.

1995: LCIF partners with The Carter Center, led by former US president and Lion Jimmy Carter, to combat river blindness in Africa and Latin America.

2002: Lions charter two clubs in China, the nation’s first voluntary membership group since the 1950s.

2003: Through SightFirst, Lions and The Carter Center record their 50 millionth river blindness treatment.

2007: The Financial Times ranks LCIF as best non-governmental organization worldwide to partner with.

2010: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation contributes US$5 million to the One Shot: One Life campaign, and Lions raise more than US$10 million to support measles efforts over the next two years.

2014: Lions launch the Centennial Service Challenge, a global initiative to serve 100 million people around the world.

2017: Lions celebrate their 100th anniversary and first century of service!

If you would like to know more about the Lions Clubs International, please visit

Written by: District Governor Elect Keith Thomas (Three i Design – Electrical Dept.)

Left Photo: Chicago Central Lions Club – Melvin Jones formed the Lions Club of Chicago, the first new Lions Club since the association began in 1917. The Chicago Lions Club, later the Chicago Central Lions Club, has been in operation ever since.

Right Photo: Helen Keller – Convention, Helen Keller challenged Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” Lions enthusiastically dedicated themselves to what would become a signature cause for our first 100 years of service.

AUTHOR: Three i Design
No Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.