Lions Clubs International

Lions Clubs International was founded by Melvin Jones, a Chicago businessman in 1917-some 105 years ago, and today it is the world’s largest service organization, Originally, there was no particular direction to go in, no special cause—but some 8 years after   being founded---a blind and deaf woman by the name of Helen Keller, asked permission to speak before our Lions Clubs International Convention. She asked the Lions to pick up her crusade and adopt sight conservation as a major project of Lions Clubs International.She was dealing with a small group that was only in the western hemisphere at that time. She did not realize what was going to happen when she asked “Gentlemen, would you be my knights of the blind? We have many problems to overcome and we cannot do It alone, we need help.”  25 years later, after Helen Keller went on to become one of the most famous women in our American History---She came back to the Lions Clubs International Convention with tears in her eyes and said “Thank you, My knights of the blind, little did I realize 25 years ago when I asked you to take up my cause that I would find Lions not only in America, but China, Africa, Europe and all the other free countries of the world, all working for one goal “to eradicate the dreaded disease of blindness. ” Since then Lions Clubs International has become the largest service organization in the world with more than approximately 1 million four hundred twenty thousand members with approximately 48,119 clubs in more than 220 countries.

The Lions Club International and it's local clubs, including Olean, help in many areas of need, but the defining program of the Lions Club has always been to improve and save sight. Some other areas that Lions Clubs assist are in hearing, diabetes, environmental and pediatric cancer.  


Olean Lions Club

Chartered in 1952, the 17 men and women of the Olean Lions Club continue to serve our community in a variety of ways.  Monthly meetings provide a forum for members to meet to discuss means for employing our motto "We Serve".  Members have the opportunity to become active through a variety of roles that range from leadership initiatives to hands on service through out the community.

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