Lioness Club in Mena Arkansas
Stacey Cole, President
P.O. Box 1229, Mena, AR 71953
|Meeting Day||2nd Wednesday|
|Meeting Time||12:00 Noon|
|Meeting Place||Various Local Restaurants|
|Membership||Open to the Public|
|Vice President||Patty Young|
Lions are an international network of 1.35 million men and women in 206 countries and geographic areas who work together to answer the needs that challenge communities around the world.
Known for working to end preventable blindness, Lions participate in a vast variety of projects important to their communities. These projects range from cleaning up local parks to providing supplies to victims of natural disasters.
The International Association of Lions Clubs began as the dream of Chicago businessman Melvin Jones. He believed that local business clubs should expand their horizons from purely professional concerns to the betterment of their communities and the world at large.
Jones' group, the Business Circle of Chicago, agreed. After contacting similar groups around the United States, an organizational meeting was held on June 7, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The new group took the name of one of the invited groups, the "Association of Lions Clubs," and a national convention was held in Dallas, Texas, USA in October of that year. A constitution, by-laws, objects and code of ethics were approved.
Among the objects adopted in those early years was one that read, "No club shall hold out the financial betterment of its members as its object." This call for unselfish service to others remains one of the association's main tenets.
Just three years after its formation, the association became international when the first club in Canada was established in 1920. Major international expansion continued as clubs were established, particularly throughout Europe, Asia and Africa during the 1950s and 1960s.
In 1925, Helen Keller addressed the Lions international convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, USA. She challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." From this time, Lions clubs have been actively involved in service to the blind and visually impaired.
Broadening its international role, Lions Clubs International helped the United Nations form the Non-Governmental Organizations sections in 1945 and continues to hold consultative status with the U.N.
In 1990, Lions launched its most aggressive sight preservation effort, SightFirst. The US$202 million program strives to rid the world of preventable and reversible blindness by supporting desperately needed health care services. Lions have launched Campaign SightFirst II to raise at least US$150 million to continue and expand the extraordinary work of SightFirst.
In addition to sight programs, Lions Clubs International is committed to providing services for youth. Lions clubs also work to improve the environment, build homes for the disabled, support diabetes education, conduct hearing programs and, through their foundation, provide disaster relief around the world.
Lions Clubs International has grown to include 1.3 million men and women in approximately 45,000 clubs located in 205 countries and geographic areas.
The Lions Name
On June 17, 1917 at the invitation of Melvin Jones, delegates met in Chicago. The only point of contention was the selection of a name for the new organization. Melvin Jones researched the idea of calling the new organization Lions. He was convinced that the lion stood for strength, courage, fidelity and vital action. On a secret ballot the name Lions was chosen over several others.
The Lions Emblem
At the 1919 convention there was a move to change the symbol, but a young attorney from Denver, Colorado rose to speak. His name was Halsted Ritter. "The name Lions stands not only for fraternity, good fellowship, strength of character and purpose, but above all, its combination of L-I-O-N-S heralds to the country the true meaning of citizenship: LIBERTY, INTELLIGENCE, OUR NATION'S SAFETY."
The January 1931 issue of THE LION Magazine featured this interpretation of the association’s name:
Our name was not selected at random, neither was it a coined name. From time immemorial, the lion has been the symbol of all that was good, and because of the symbolism that name was chosen. Four outstanding qualities—Courage, Strength, Activity and Fidelity—had largely to do with the adoption of the name. The last mentioned of these qualities, Fidelity, has a deep and peculiar significance for all Lions. The lion symbol has been a symbol of Fidelity through the ages and among all nations, ancient and modern. It stands for loyalty to a friend, loyalty to a principle, loyalty to a duty, loyalty to a trust.
The emblem consists of a gold letter “L” on a circular purple (or blue) field. Bordering this is a circular gold area with two Lion profiles facing away from the center. The word “Lions” appears at the top and “International” at the bottom. The Lions face both past and future – showing both pride of heritage and confidence in the future.
The royal colors of purple and gold were selected as the official colors when the association was organized in 1917. Purple stands for loyalty to friends and for integrity of mind and heart. Gold symbolizes sincerity of purpose, liberality in judgment, purity in life and generosity in mind, heart and purse to those in need.
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