The Wall That Heals travels through Holliston TODAY around 3:15
Last day for school supply drop off at HPD is NEXT Saturday; 8/24
^ Effective August 1st - No grilling or fires at Stoddard Park ^
Kayak / canoe rentals at Stoddard Park ALL Summer!

Holliston Lions - Service With a Mission

by Doreen Martel
March 27, 2019

The Holliston Lions Club performs many service projects and fundraising events. Annual events like our $10,000 raffle go to support many important programs not only in Holliston but across Massachusetts and internationally. On a state-wide basis, the majority of our “out-of-Holliston” donations go to support Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund, Inc.  This is no accident, in fact, it is part of our overall mission which was a result of a challenge issued by Massachusetts native Helen Keller.

When Lions started in 1917, their goals included improving life for those who were in need in their own communities. This involved various Lions Club members donating funds, participating in community fundraising events and identifying those in their communities who were the most in need. It is important to remember, the Lions organization was formed during wartime – Lions was an acronym at that time which stood for “Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation's Safety.”

Going International and Finding a Humanitarian Cause

Three years after getting started, Lions became an international association. The first international Club was Border City Lions Club in Windsor Canada. In 1920, there were 23 active Lions Clubs in the United States with 6,400 members. However, it was in 1925 that Lions developed their first humanitarian mission: To prevent blindness whenever possible. This was the result of a visit to a Lions Clubs Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, in 1925 by Helen Keller, who at the time was associated with The American Foundation for the Blind. In part, she said:

This is the opportunity I offer you, Lions—to foster and sponsor the work of the American Foundation for the Blind. Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness, no little deaf blind child untaught, no blind man or woman unaided? I appeal to you, Lions—you who have your sight, your hearing, you who are strong and brave and kind—will you not constitute yourselves Knights of the Blind in my crusade against darkness? You can review the entire content of Helen Keller’s address to Lions on The American Foundation for the Blind website.

Meeting the Challenge

Lions picked up this challenge and today, we continue to do whatever we can to help prevent blindness and to help those who have visual challenges. This includes raising money for eye research, providing eyeglasses to those in need, doing vision screenings and educating the public on the leading cause of preventable blindness, diabetes.

We raise money from our community to help support our efforts and to meet our mission. Most people in the Town of Holliston are aware of our efforts including our annual carnival, collecting pennies for sight in the spring, flipping pancakes at Santa’s breakfast in December and our annual $10,000 raffle.

It is only through these efforts that we have continued to be able to meet our annual goals of supporting the efforts of researchers in Boston. Since Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund, Inc. was founded in 1953, the Holliston Lions Club has made donations to this fund totaling nearly $300,000.

In our next installment we will discuss the history of Mass Lions Eye Research our biggest key to battling preventable blindness. You can learn more about the Holliston Lions Club on our website.


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