Lions have been helping people since 1917. That year, Melvin Jones, a Chicago businessman, encouraged his club, the Chicago Business Circle, to go beyond promoting good business practices. He convinced the members that selfless service to others would create a better community and a better world-for all.
He also saw that a network of clubs working together could do much more than individual clubs acting alone, so he invited similar groups from around the United States to a meeting on June 7th, 1917 in Chicago Illinois. There, the Association of Lions Clubs was born. Three years later the group became the International Association of Lions Clubs when the Downtown Lions Club was chartered in Windsor Ont.
Perhaps the single event having the greatest impact on our associations service commitment occurred in 1925 when Helen Keller addressed the clubs and challenged Lions to become 'knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.' In fact we have impacted the lives of 24 million people.
In 1985 LCI became the first major service organization to admit women as members. LCI, although the youngest, has grown to be the largest service club organization in the world with a membership of 1.34 million in more that 200 countries and geographical locations. In all corners of the globe, Lions are welcomed and respected for their vision, integrity and dedication to our motto: 'We Serve'.