Did You Know? Bonnie Donovan
Did you know the Lions Club was started by Melvin Jones in October 1917 in Chicago?
In 1920, it became Lions Club International when organizers established the first club in Canada. Another one was created in 1927 in Mexico.
During the 1925 international convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, Helen Keller charged Lions with becoming “Knights of the Blind in the crusade against darkness.”
In 1930, Lion George Bonham painted a cane white with a red band to aid the visually impaired after he witnessed a blind man having trouble crossing the street.
In 1935, a local Lions club donated a Talking Book machine to the Milwaukee Public Library, allowing the blind to hear books.
In 1947, the Lions celebrated their 30th anniversary. By then, it had become the world’s largest service club organization, with 324,690 members in 19 nations.
In 1956, the Detroit Lions Club gave 6-year-old Stevie Wonder a Christmas gift: a drum set.
The Lions Club’s history goes on and beyond “Knights of the Blind.”
One hundred and four years later with more than 1.4 million members, Lions are a global service network of volunteers who make a difference in their local communities.
Lions Clubs are the world’s largest service club organization with more than 46,000 clubs in 209 countries.
Lions clubs offer individuals the unique opportunity to express their altruism through kind-hearted service.
All around the world, communities benefit from the selfless service of Lions. More than 275 million people served in 2019-2020 around the world.
“LIONS” stands for Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Safety. It major service is centered around vision, hearing and the prevention of diabetes.
The Carpinteria Lions Club was chartered in November 1927 and has been an integral part in so many things that make Carpinteria what it is today. Members funded the first ambulance for the city, planted all of the trees along Seventh Avenue and hosted the Mothers Day pancake breakfast.
For 34-plus years, members sold their world-famous tri-tip sandwiches at the annual Carpinteria Avocado Festival.
The club has never had a repeat president (not many service clubs can say that), and it has 70 active members.
The Lions Club started primarily as a men’s-only service organization but welcomes women today. Within the last 10 years, the club has brought wives of Lions who passed into the club as full members.
Carpinteria Lions is celebrating its 10th year of Festival of Trees
Each year the club selects a local nonprofit or education-based group to benefit from the monies the Lions raise from selling raffle $1 tickets.
In 2019, under Past President Robert Shroll, the Lions raised more than $48,000, which went to benefit the robotics program at Carpinteria High School and the High School Safe/Sober Prom (which then was used to benefit the students since COVID-19 interrupted the prom).
This year;s Festival of Trees opened on Friday for all to come view and buy your $1 chance (per ticket) to win a tree.
Lion Mike Dawson said the club has 24 trees sponsored by different groups this year. All the trees have a minimum value of $500 worth of gifts under them, yet they all usually pass up that value.
Carpinteria High School Class of 1978 returned this year with a goal of $7,800 value, and the class surpassed it. The gifts under the class’ tree are accompanied by cash.
The event is located at 700 Linden Ave. in Carpinteria (the old Hickey building). One hundred percent of the money raised this year will go toward building the Carpinteria Skate Park.
On weekdays, you can stop by between 2 and 8 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekends. The drawing for raffle winners will be at noon Dec. 12.
Many come out for the drawing in the parking lot at 700 Linden Ave.
You don’t need to be present to win, but members want to make sure you can pick up your tree and everything under it that day.
Bring your debit or credit card to buy lots of tickets. Let’s help them beat that record as they raise funds for the Carpinteria Skate Park as they look to finish the amazing design that is decades in the making.
The Lions Club credo is act local, think global.