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Holliston Lions Club – Driven to Serve

by Doreen Martel
February 2, 2019

At the heart of Lionism is a drive to serve the community in which a Club is chartered. The Holliston Lions Club takes this mandate very seriously and as a result, participates in numerous service projects throughout each year.

It is important to understand why the Lions are so intent on serving their community. Simply put, Lions Clubs were founded on the premise they could address the needs of their community by the founder, Melvin Jones.

 

In History of Lions

1917, Melvin Jones, a 38-year-old Chicago business leader, told members of his local business club they should reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world. 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, in October of that year. A constitution, by-laws, objects and a code of ethics were approved. This was the birth of what is now known as Lions Clubs International. From those humble beginnings, Lions today are 47,000 Lions Clubs strong comprising 1.4 million members in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

Holliston Lions Service

Over the last seven decades, the Holliston Lions Club has participated in numerous community service projects. Some of the ones which most readers should be familiar with include the Veteran’s Day luncheon done in conjunction with the VFW and American Legion, a Senior Luncheon which is typically held in June at the Holliston Senior Center, and the Downtown Lighting which was taken over to ensure the streets of Holliston continued to have holiday lights displayed. The Holliston Lions have also sponsored, or co-sponsored free eye and health screenings with the Holliston Leo Club and District 33Ks Eyemobile.

Some of the other service projects we take on include providing items to the food pantry, providing meals during the holidays, and helping those with visual problems obtain the services they need through programs available locally and state-wide.

Then there are those projects which often go unnoticed except by the people who are directly impacted. The Holliston Lions has a program called Lend-A-Lion – this is where we provide direct service, one-on-one to members of the community who need specific assistance they are unable to afford on their own. Installation and removal of personal air conditioners, providing eyeglasses for those who need them, and at one time, building a handicap ramp for someone who needed one on a temporary basis.

There is no restriction on the type of projects we take on through Lend-a-Lion – the program is primarily designed for residents of the community who are elderly or disabled (permanently or temporarily) and need assistance they might not be able to get otherwise. We have shoveled driveways, taken away fallen limbs, mowed grass and installed holiday lights through this program.

Expanding Opportunities to Serve

Like any other service organization, expansion of clubs and members is key to being able to serve communities. Understanding this, the Holliston Lions Club has helped expand Lionism. During the last 79 years we have sponsored the Medfield Lions Club (1944), the Framingham Lions Club (1949), New England College of Optometry Lions Club (2005) and Wellesley Centennial Lions Club (2017).  The Holliston Club has sponsored Scout Pack 2 for more than 50 years and we also sponsored the Holliston Leos Club which was chartered in 2010 and continues to thrive today.

Each February, the Holliston Lions Club meets with other Lions Clubs across District 33K (which encompasses Middlesex County and parts of Suffolk County) for a mid-winter conference. In addition to leadership training opportunities, this gives Lions an opportunity to listen to what other clubs are doing for service projects and make donations to Lions charities across Massachusetts. In our next installation, we will discuss how and why Lions focus on preventable blindness and what we do to fight blindness and help those with visual impairments. In the meantime, you can visit the Holliston Lions Club website for additional information.

 

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Comments (1)

I know a Lion or two. everything that is said is true. A Lion visits me at least once a month. Thank you for your good work.

Jean Morrissey

- Jean Morrissey | 2/4/19 9:58 AM

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