Picture by Lion Curt Kelley


Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. Its 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs are serving communities in over 200 countries and geographical areas around the globe. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives and strengthened local communities through hands-on service and humanitarian projects.  For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit


June 7, 2017 is the 100th Anniversary of Lions Clubs International.  To commemorate the occassion, the Idaho Lt Governor signed a proclamation for Lions Club Day on June 7th.  Members of several District 39W clubs including Lions Curt Kelley-Boise Bench, Jim Spanberger and Pete Peterson-Boise Capital, Robin and Joe Jara-Star, DGE Tim Vincent-Nampa, Shane Bauges and Travis-Eagle 616 Lions and DG Dennis Burks.

Lions Clubs isn’t just about eyeglass collecting!


In 1917, Melvin Jones was a successful insurance agency owner and a member of the Business Circle of Chicago.   He encouraged his fellow members to expand beyond their business interests and seek the betterment of the community, saying “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else.”  He also contacted similar groups, inviting them to meet and discuss forming a new organization.

Lions Clubs celebrated the 100th anniversary of that organizational meeting which was held on June 7, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois USA.   Based on the success of that meeting, the first Lions Clubs convention was held in Dallas, Texas in October of that year, where Dr. William Woods of Evansville, Indiana was elected as the first President.

Melvin Jones was named Secretary Treasurer and authorized to establish a headquarters in Chicago.   The new association expanded rapidly, becoming international in 1920, with the addition of a club in Windsor, Canada.   

On our 100th Anniversary there are 1.4 million Lions in more than 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographic areas, united by a single idea:  “We Serve.”

The first Idaho Lions Club, located in Malad, was chartered in May, 1923 and Lions have now expanded to over 80 clubs in Multiple District 39, serving Southern Idaho and Eastern Oregon, including several in the Boise Metropolitan Area.

The Idaho Eastern Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation ( was founded in 1969 and it belongs to the Lions Clubs comprising Multiple District 39.  The Foundation has several programs such as Personal Assistance to help pay for eye surgeries, school vision and hearing screenings, hearing aid program, eye glass recycling, Idaho Lions Eye Bank, and Idaho Lions Vision Clinic.  The lives of over 90000 people are impacted on an annual basis as a result of the outreach and assistance of these programs.

The Boise Bench Lions Club ( is typical of the Boise area clubs with a local impact.  Founded in 1951, it has thrived over the years and has worked with and assisted other social service organizations and an underserved population.    The club works with various organizations, such as the Idaho Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation, Idaho Veterans Home, the Idaho Food Bank, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Friendship Food Pantry and assists individuals with wheel chair ramps, eye glasses and other needs.



New Member Induction

Welcome to New Bench Lion Kari Spencer, sponsor Lion Larry Spencer pledged his support .  Induction ceremony offiicated by 39W District Governor Jim Spanberger on September 18, 2019



Some of the local community organizations and projects that the Boise Bench Lions assists in many ways.

Over the last several years a quick summary of what the Boise Bench Lions Members did is as follows:  Number of Lions volunteers 412; Lion Hours 1421; Projects 74; Individuals served 2659+; glasses collected 8824; funds donated  A LOT

1. Idaho Eastern Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation

2. Honor Flight to send Veterans to the Veteran's Memorial in D.C.

3.ICAC - (Internet crimes against children)

4. Friendship Food Pantry for Christmas (plus non perishable food delivered

all year)

5. Chrysalis Houses for Christmas Dinners

6. Hawthorne Elementary School for the Angel Fund

7. Four for Christmas Dinner plus all requests for presents were filled

8. Living expenses for a disabled former restaurant employee

9. Veteran Athletes toward transportation for the Golden Age Olympics

10. Wesley Student Foundation Handicap Ramp (plus 64 man hours of

building and installation) Chapter Serves Boise State University

11. Rake up Boise.

12. Special Olympics, especially Opening Eyes.

13.  Dinners for the Summer Camp for the Blind, sponsored by the Idaho E Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation. 


Lions Club motto is We Serve and the Boise Bench Lions Club does it with GUSTO!












Home club of Past International Director Gary D'Orazio 



History of Our Club

The club was chartered on August 27, 1951 and has been extremely active in the Boise Community since then.
The two biggest fundraisers are Hit the Jackpot Golf Tournament and Estate Sales.
Hit the Jackpot was started in 1996 and raises money for the Sight and Hearing Foundation. The event occurs in Jackpot, Nevada and raises around $20000 a year for the foundation. 
The club also has contributed to various community organizations such as Hope House, Womens and Childrens Alliance, Corpus Christi, Zoo Boise, Humphries Diabetes Center and refugees to mention a few. We also provide food and gifts to families at Christmas time.
The club also has time for social events during the year such as the annual picnic, charter party and Christmas Party, a great way to mingle with fellow members and guests.
Being one of the largest Lions Clubs in the State, we have been a good source for leadership for Lions Clubs with several Zone Chairs, Past District Governors, project Chairs, Council Chairs, Lions Foundation Presidents and Past International Director Gary D'Orazio.



Now on twitter  @boisebenchlions



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.

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