WHAT A LIONS CLUB DOES IN THE COMMUNITY
- Works with the blind and visually impaired.
- Works to improve our communities to make them a fine place to live.
- Works with local eye physicians to furnish eye examinations, glasses and surgery to those in need.
- Sponsors local youth activities to help them stay busy and away from drugs and alcohol.
- An organization which crosses religious and political boundaries in the common cause of serving mankind.
- Participates in the community to aid the people who are in need.
- Participates with the local school with funds for scholarships, youth educational trips, classroom needs and help for projects
THE ORCHARD PARK LIONS CLUB
The Orchard Park Lions Club, Inc. will celebrate its 70th Anniversary in September of 2014. Our Lion Motto is "We Serve. "Our objective is to take an active interest in civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.
The Orchard Park Lions Club, Inc. accepted on 9/17/87 as its governing forms the Standard Constitution and By-laws chartered and under the jurisdiction of the International Association of Lions Clubs with some additions and changes to satisfy our club needs.
The Orchard Park Lions Club, Inc. was chartered on September 19, 1944. The Club began with 47 charter members and has developed various fundraisers to support its projects and has always been involved in Community Projects:
- Building a shelter at Green Lake and fountains
- Building handicapped ramps for needy
- Building a shelter for NYS drivers test applicants
- Scholarship program for Orchard Park seniors
- Fishing derby for children at Green Lake
- Entertaining at the Nursing Home for Christmas
- Participating at Quaker Days with a Lions Car Show
- Joint meetings with other Service Clubs
- Lions Quest Program: Training for Orchard Park School System
- Journey for Sight
- Sabah International
- Distributing Christmas Baskets
- And numerous other projects
Donations we have made:
- Little League
- Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce
- Village of Orchard Park for flowers
LIONS CLUB INTERNATIONAL HISTORY
The International Association of Lions Clubs began as the dream of Chicago businessperson Melvin Jones. He believed that local business clubs should expand their horizons from purely professional concerns to the betterment of their communities and the world at large.
Jones' own group, the Business Circle of Chicago, agreed. After contacting similar groups around the country, an organizational meeting was held on June 7, 1917, at the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago. The new group took the name of one of the groups invited, "Association of Lions Clubs". And a national convention was held in Dallas in October of that year. A constitution, by-laws, objects and code of ethics were approved. Among the official objects adopted in those early years was one, which read, "No club shall hold out the financial betterment of its members as its object". This object has remained on the association's main tenets ever since.
Just three years after its formation, the organization became international when the first club in Canada was established in 1920. Major international expansion continued as clubs were established, particularly throughout Europe, Asia and Africa during the 1950s and 60s.Perhaps the single event having the greatest impact on the association's service commitment occurred in 1925 when Helen Keller addressed the Lions at their International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, USA. It was there that she challenged Lions to become "Knights of the Blind in the crusade against darkness".
In 1991, Lions launched their most aggressive sight preservation effort to date, SightFirst. More than 146 million US dollars program strives to rid the world of preventable and reversible blindness by closing the gap between existing health care services and those that remain desperately needed.
Broadening its role in international understanding, the association helped the United Nations form the Non-Governmental Organizations sections in 1945 and continues to hold consultative status today. Each year, during The Lions Day with the United Nations ceremonies, an award is presented to the grand prizewinner of the Lions International Peace Poster Contest.
Since those first years, the association has grown to include over 1.4 million men and women in more than 44,000 clubs located in approximately 185 countries and geographical areas.
Worldwide, Lions clubs are essentially recognized for their service to the blind and visually impaired. This service history began through the challenge issued by the first woman, Helen Keller, to address the Association in convention. She urged at the conclusion of her address, for those assembled to become "Knights of the Blind in the crusade against darkness". This was in 1925 at the Sandusky, Ohio convention. The focus has never changed though many activities and projects outside the "umbrella" have supported this generally accepted concept.
PRIMARY FOUNDATION PROGRAM:
In 1989, Lions through its foundation (LCIF) established "SightFirst", a $146 million-dollar plus global initiative to rid the world of preventable and reversible blindness. The unprecedented program joins leading blindness prevention experts, blindness organizations, governments and Lions volunteers in an effort to establish long-term solutions in eye health care infrastructure, training of eye care professionals, treatment and public education.
Without intervention programs like SightFirst, the World Health Organizations estimates the number of people who are blind in the world could double from 40 million to 80 million in less than 25 years. This program is supported by Lions worldwide and has exceeded the original financial projections and the number of blind citizens served through this huge humanitarian effort. The Lions of the world are now launching campaign SightFirst Two in 2005, the motto will be "Lions Visions
OTHER SIGHT-RELATED ACTIVITIES
In addition to the SightFirst program, Lions Clubs continue to support other sight-related initiatives, to wit:
- Lions provide over 600,000 free professional glaucoma screenings and are responsible for making over 25,000 corneal transplants possible each year.
- Lions establish and support a majority of the world's eye banks, hundreds of clinics, hospitals and eye research centers worldwide.
- Lions provide thousands each year with free quality eye care screening and examinations, eyeglasses, Braille-writers, large print texts, white canes, Leader Dogs and other Dog-Guide Programs.
- 1 million cataract surgeries.
INTERNATIONAL YOUTH PROGRAMS
Lions for over a quarter century have made a strong commitment to youth through several international programs:
- Lions Youth Outreach: Through this comprehensive program, young people develop essential life and citizenship skills. As part of this effort, the Lions Quest "Skills For Growing" and "Skills For Adolescence" programs each year help students in over 35,000 schools in 35 countries develop the skill to make healthy decisions and resist the pressure to use drugs and alcohol. The Lions Quest "Skills for Action" programs for high school student's combines those skills with community service activities.
- Lions International Peace Poster Contest: Each year, over 200,000 students, ages 11-13 from about 45 countries, creatively share personal ideas about world peach through artwork judged at local, district, national and international levels. These young artist renderings have huge audience appeal when they are displayed at the International Lions Convention.
- Leo Club Program: Lions Clubs in 193 countries sponsor more than 5,528 Leo Clubs worldwide. The more than 138,200 members, age 12-18, perform various community service activities and support a special worldwide Literacy and Cultural project. Lions Clubs are strongly encouraged to develop this youth program as a conduit for Lions Member upon maturity.
- International Youth Exchange: in 2003 - 2004, more than 1,500 - 2,000 students, ages 15-21, stayed with Lions host families in 65 countries. This program is an incredible opportunity for students to use their foreign language skills in a "home" environment abroad. All Lions clubs are urged to involve students to use this program for international travel and educational enhancements.
The Lions Foundation is endowed through:
- INDIVIDUAL GIFTS: Many Lions commit personal funding to the Foundation, some times over a period of years. A "unit" of $1,000 gift results in the designation of an individual being named a MELVIN JONES FELLOW (MJF).
- CLUB GIFTS: Lions clubs frequently accumulates its designated funds for LCIF and when a unit of $1,000 is available, they designate a member of the club as a MJF for each thousand-dollar gift.
- CORPORATE GIFTS: Corporations that are generally tethered to the concept of sight conservation, often provide gifts to the Lions Clubs International Foundation.
Lions Clubs International Foundation, the charitable branch of Lions Clubs International, disburses its donated funds in the form of grants for humanitarian services, disaster relief, vocational and medical assistance projects initiated by local Lions Clubs. Grant applications have two open windows annually and sums up to $250,000 are available on a matching fund basis.
- It shall submit all matters of new business and policy to the respective Special or Standing Committees for study and recommendation to the Board.
- It shall not authorize, nor permit, the expenditure for any administrative purpose of the net income from projects or activities of the Club for which funds are raised from the public.
- It shall be responsible for the timely submission of reports to the state and federal government as required by law.
Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.