Tomball Lions Club History
The present Tomball Lions Club is a service organization that was formed in April of 1982. We currently meet at noon, in the Community Room of Klein Bank - Tomball on the second and fourth Fridays of each month. Our membership now stands at over 40 members and includes men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds. The club is part of the International Association of Lions Clubs. Our club supports a number of charities in the Houston area, across the state of Texas and on an International level with Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) by donating $ 1,000 annually to the Melvin Jones Fellowship, which also honors a club member by recognizing their humanitarian service. However, the primary focus of our club is to provide community assistance and to raise money for funding various charities in the Tomball area.
Local charities that the Tomball Lions have aided include TOMAGWA, Habitat for Humanity, Tomball Emergency Assistance Ministries (TEAM) organized and supported by area churches to serve the needy, and TPASS, (a mentoring program sponsored by the Tomball Police Department). Each year, the Tomball Lions also arrange for dozens of Tomball school children to have eye exams and provide eyeglasses free-of-charge, if their parents have no insurance or cannot afford to do so. Our fund raising events currently include Tomball Night, (concession stand and a raffle), the Strokes Helping Folks Golf Tournament and our Annual Tomball Lions Club Car Show. Proceeds from our annual car show fund two (2) $1,000 annual scholarships for handicapped students at Tomball College. Subsequently, the club has named this fund the Roy Hillegeist Scholarship Fund in honor a long time Lion and devoted civic leader, who passed away in 2003.
Our community involvement has included building a wheelchair ramp for a paraplegic man. We also arranged for the replacement and installation of a specialized mobile home for a victim of Lou Gerhig’s disease. Tomball First United Methodist Church generously donated a van to the T-PASS Program. Club members then arranged for the refurbishing of that van to allow potentially at-risk Tomball students to be transported to events in safety. We have supported Project Prom and special projects for Eagle Scout candidates with the Boy Scouts of America. We also host an annual Christmas luncheon for Senior Citizens from the Tomball Community Center.
A charity supported outside the local area is the Lions Eye Bank of Texas (the largest eye bank in the world), which receives more than 4,200 cornea donations annually. For each of the last several years, our club has donated $1,000 annually to the Eye Bank though efforts of the White Cane Day fund raiser in conjuction with our annual Car Show. We also collect thousands of used eyeglasses each year, which are then sent to Lions District 2S2 to be refurbished and distributed to the needy, mostly in third world countries.
Lions Clubs throughout Texas fund the Texas Lions Camp, located in Kerrville, Texas. Area clubs sponsor a number of disabled and diabetic children, sending them to the Camp free-of-charge, enabling them to participate in activities that they do not normally have access to. These children experience an environment that is free of many of the physical and emotional barriers that exist in everyday life outside the camp. In 2001, the Tomball Lions set a club record by sending a total of 17 handicapped and diabetic children from the Tomball Area to the Texas Lions Camp. Each summer, members from our club also assist Lions District 2S2 which provides Houston area children bus transportation to and from the camp. Without this bus many children would not be able to attend.
The motto of the International Associations of Lions Clubs is, simply, “We Serve”. Our club is made up of extraordinary people, with an unselfish desire to help their fellow man.