Lions Clubs International, a service membership organization of over 1.7 million members worldwide (as of June 2018), was founded in Evansville, Indiana on 24 October 1916 by Dr. William Perry Woods and subsequently evolved as an international service organization under the guidance and supervision of its Secretary, Melvin Jones.
The Lions motto is “We Serve”. Local Lions Club programs include sight conservation, hearing and speech conservation, diabetes awareness, youth outreach, international relations, environmental issues, and many other programs. The discussion of politics and religion is forbidden. The LIONS acronym also stands for Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nations’ Safety.
The stated purposes of Lions Clubs International are:
- To Organize, charter and supervise service clubs to be known as Lions clubs.
- To Coordinate the activities and standardize the administration of Lions clubs.
- To Create and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world.
- To Promote the principles of good government and good citizenship.
- To Take an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.
- To Unite the clubs in the bonds of friendship, good fellowship and mutual understanding.
- To Provide a forum for the open discussion of all matters of public interest; provided, however, that partisan politics and sectarian religion shall not be debated by club members.