Community Projects

Bland Contest -  Every year the Wincester Host Lions participate in the Lions of Virginia Bland Music Contest. It is named after James Bland, who wrote “Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny”. The final competition is held at the Lions State Convention in May each year. The Bland Competition starts at the local level with many clubs, including the Winchester Host Lions Club, holding local competitions in both instrumental and vocal divisions. Over $25,000.00 is awarded in this state wide contest..

Students from K-12 are eligible. There are two levels based on age (Junior and Senior) and include instrumental and vocal. First and second place winners are awarded a cash prize and the first place senior level winner advances to the District Competition.

The competition for 2023 was held on February 22nd. Check back here in December for information about the 2024 Bland Contest. 

Sensory Trail - In coordination with the Winchester City Parks and Recs Department our Club has created a Sensory Trail in Jim Barnett Park. This walking trail has stations along the way with raised and braille lettering placques describing the trees and plants at each location. A guideline winds throughout the trail to assist folks navigate on a smooth gravel walkway. Lions were challenged by Helen Keller to be Knights of the Blind and we have met and maintained that challenge for over 100 years. You can access the trail from the southeast corner of Jones Funeral Home.

Sight Conservation - We provide funding for medically necessary eye care for low-income adults  and children, and help to provide vision screenings at community health fairs.  The Winchester Host Lions have truly made the difference between blindness and sight for thousands of Winchester residents over its long history.

Click here for a  list of the locations of our Eyeglass Recycling Boxes.

Hearing - Hearing influences nearly every aspect of our daily lives, from our ability to earn a living to the quality of our relationships.  Better hearing allows people to succeed in school, find good jobs, and participate in their communities. By addressing hearing loss we can promote better health, greater educational attainment, and higher levels of economic productivity.

Through the Lions Hearing Aid Recycling Program (HARP), our Club provides affordable hearing aids for individuals with limited financial resources.

Click here for a list of locations of our Hearing Aid Recycling Boxes.

Diabetes Awareness - People with diabetes are at risk of losing sight due to diabetic retinopathy.  It is the leading cause of vision loss in adults of working age (20 to 65 years).  74% of people who have diabetes for 10 years or more will develop some form of diabetic retinopathy.  All people with diabetes-both Type 1 and Type 2-are at risk. That's why everyone with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.

Our work supports diabetes awareness, education, control, prevention and research.  A screening test can detect the possibility of diabetes.  Our Club helps during community diabetes screenings.

Youth Outreach - Children are our future.  Accordingly, a Club objective is to provide local youth with an opportunity for development and contribution as responsible members of the community.  To accomplish this goal our Club sponsors the Millbrook High School Leo Club and provides a mentor at meeting.

Additionally, we participate in the organization of an annual music contest (Bland Contest) that is open to all youth in our area each spring.  Winners of this local contest move up to a District competition, and if successful onto the Lions Club State Convention to compete.  Scholarships are provided to all participants at State level.

Apple Blossom Parade - Since 1938, Our club has been responsible for the organization and direction of the annual Apple Blossom Festival Grand Feature Parade.  Today's Apple Blossom Festival is a 10-day community event which started as a 1-day affair in 1924.  In 1948 Bing Crosby appeared as Grand Marshal of the Grand Feature Parade, followed by celebrities such as Bob Hope, Arthur Godfrey, Ed Sullivan, Van Johnson, and Lucille Ball, to name a few. In more recent years, the Grand Marshals have included Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr., Robert Wagner,  Mary Tyler Moore, Katie Couric, Al Roker, Dan Aykroyd, Larry Hagman, Wayne Newton, Debbie Reynolds, Mario Lopez, and in 2022, Terry Bradshaw.


We also have a float in the parade and  our President and Lion of the Year are featured as Dignitaries!

Christmas Boxes- Thirty less fortunate families within Winchester (VA) receive boxes each year.  The boxes contain everything needed to prepare a large sumptuous holiday meal.

Fundraising Projects

Broom Sales - The brooms sold by Lions Clubs are produced by visually impaired individuals and are among the best produced.  Our Club conducts brooms sale stands at community events during the year, AND at ten (10) different merchant locations spread throughout the city.  Merchants that proudly display our sales racks are listed on the Home page for easy access.


52/50 Ticket Drawing - Each Spring three hundred (300) tickets are sold at $25 each to the community, friends, and family for a drawing held at every weekly meeting throughout the year.  The weekly winner gets $50 and has their number returned to the container so they are eligible to win multiple times throughout the twelve month period of the drawings.  Everyone is welcome enter, so ask your neighborhood Lions Club member when you can enter the drawing.

Cash Party- This is our Club’s largest fundraiser which is held in late October of each year.  Only three hundred (300) tickets are sold for the event which has $13,050 in cash prizes.  Over the years this event has become a must-attend event for the community.  The Cash Party ticket includes a buffet dinner with all the drinks you want (within reason)!  Bingo games, Mountain-of-Cheer drawing, 50/50 raffle and a silent auction are available to enhance the fun throughout the evening.  Remember to contact your local Lion for tickets which are usually available by mid-August.

Golf Tournament- 2022 was the inauguration of our Annual Golf Tournament in May. Proceeds from this event allow us to help our community members with sight or hearing impairments. Click the link for information for our next tournament. 

Serving the community is the reason that inspires people to become Lions. We support and promote the movement of putting something back into the local community, and our only reward is the difference we've made and the relationships we've built.


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