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Brooklyn Center Lions Club History
The Club was chartered March 1955 with 44 new members.
Norris O. Johnson -Charter President.
First project: scrap drive September 1955.
We sponsored firearm safety training for youth in Brooklyn Center.
It was the first of many youth sponsorships, including baseball, football, hockey, swimming and scouts.
The Lions purchased the first pair of Eyeglasses for a needy child. There would be hundreds more purchased in the coming years.

 
Over the past 50 years the Brooklyn Center Lions Club has sponsored five new clubs:
Brooklyn Center Lioness 1979
Brooklyn Park Lions 1961
Brooklyn Center Leo Club 1999
Camden Lions Club 2002
Minneapolis Ambassador Lions Club 2004.
 
This club has had Eight District Governors, three Council of Governors Chairs  and one International Director:
Frank Erwin 1962-1963
Bill Legler 1969-1970
Richard Risley 1986-1987 Council Chair 1987-1988
Robert Vokes (5M10) 1996-1997 
Ross Thorfinnson 1996-1997 Council Chair 1997-1998
Thomas Shinnick 1997-1998
Orlander Nelson 2004-2005
Bob Jechorek 2006-2007 Council Chair 2007-2008
 
Ross Thorfinnson was an International Director 2001-2003.
 
We have 41 members who are Melvin Jones award recipients, 22 Helen Keller award recipients, 13 Hearing Foundation award recipients and 4 Diabetes Foundation Award recipients.
In the summer of 1956 the club participated in the first of many parades. We are now the sponsor of one the largest parades in Minnesota, Earle Brown Days Parade held annually in June. This was the first of many civic betterment projects including building a park in the city--a very beautiful park--dedicated in May of 1968. Of course it is called Lions Park, what else? In 1999 we paid for a Picnic Shelter built in that Park.
We donate money for a puppet wagon that travels to the various Parks in Brooklyn Center throughout the summer entertaining children and adults alike. The Club donated thousands of dollars over the years for crime prevention and drug awareness programs. We currently are working with the Brooklyn Center High School sponsoring the Youth Outreach (Quest) program. We have contributed to another high school for their Quest program and we are currently involved with a third school district with its Quest program. It is a very popular program of music and comedy. We sponsor Holly Sunday.

In addition to our local projects, we are involved in Lions International projects such as Lions Clubs International Foundation (world wide disaster relief), Campaign Site First dedicated to cure river blindness around the world. Hearing and Service Dogs for the hearing impaired, Leader Dogs for the Blind, Minnesota Lions Eye Bank and Children’s Eye Clinic, Macular Degeneration Center, and Lions Research Building, Lions of 5M Hearing Foundation all located at the University of Minnesota. Another project is the Lions of Minnesota Diabetes Research and Treatment at the International Diabetes Center. We raised money for a Diabetes Van when one of our members Dick Risley was District Governor and have been heavily involved in diabetes funding ever since.
I hope this gives you some idea of what the Brooklyn Center Lions Club has accomplished.
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