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Celebrating Lions Club work around the world

THE Lions Club of Frome has been fulfilling its mission of service in Frome and the surrounding communities since March 1967 and will soon be celebrating Lions Clubs International Foundation Day on 12th June.

Lion Tony Buchan explains, “Some of you may not be aware that we are part of Lions Clubs International (LCI), which was founded back in 1917 by a Chicago businessman called Melvin Jones and now comprises 47,000 Lions Clubs in over 200 countries and regions around the world with 1.4 million members.

“Embedded within LCI is the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), which was founded in 1968 and its mission is to support the efforts of Lions clubs and partners in serving communities locally and globally, giving hope and impacting lives through humanitarian service and grants.

“On 12th June, Lions clubs around the world will be celebrating the great work of the Lions Clubs International Foundation.  The current pandemic has highlighted just how much our communities need our Lions clubs and our foundation.  

“Let me give you just a few examples of how LCIF has given service to countries around the world over the past 53 years:-

• LCIF awarded its very first grant of US$5,000 back in 1972 for flooding in South Dakota, USA.

• In 1985, LCIF awarded its first Major Catastrophe Grant of US$50,000 for Earthquake relief in Mexico.

• In 2012, LCIF celebrates ten years of partnership with Johnson & Johnson Vision through the Sight for Kids Program.  

• In 2020, Campaign SightFirst, one of LCIF’s most notable programs, celebrated 30 years of funding efforts to fight the major causes of preventable and reversible blindness and provide services to persons who are blind or who have a visual impairment.

• This year, LCIF’s partnership with the Special Olympics celebrated 20 years of free vision screening for athletes through the Opening Eyes Program.  Since this partnership started, more than 445,000 athletes have been screened and prescription eyewear has been provided to more than 189,000 athletes.

“These are just a few examples of what our foundation does around the world to help those in need, but there are a great many others I could cite to illustrate the great work that LCIF undertakes.  

“As I write, LCIF is currently undertaking its Campaign 100 initiative, which is designed to raise over US$300 million up until June 2022 to support all of its causes.  These include the environment, childhood cancer, measles, diabetes, and youth.  LCIF hopes to serve over 200 million people around the world through these donations.  

“The pandemic has given LCIF and Lions clubs around the world a great many new and significant challenges and these will undoubtedly continue long after the pandemic is over due to its long-term consequences.  Lions clubs and LCIF will continue to be there to answer the call to serve our communities around the world.  

“I hope this article has given you a flavour of how LCIF fulfills its mission of service around the world.  If you would like to know more about the work of LCIF, please visit www.      lionsclubs.org or Facebook.  You can also find out more about the work of The Lions Club of Frome on our Facebook page or on our website www.fromelions1.org .”

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