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Lions International Peace Poster Contest

The Oconee Lions Club annually sponsors the Lions International Peace Poster Contest.  The purpose of the contest is to work with youth in the community to stress the importance of peace, tolerance and international understanding.  The program is open to young people, ages 11-13 and is sponsored locally in cooperation with the two Oconee County public middle school art teachers.

Each year, Lions International identifies a theme related to world peace.  As a local sponsor, the Oconee Lions purchase the packet of materials which include the contest guidelines. 

Locally, an award of $50 is given to the winner at each of the two middle schools, and the art work of all participants is displayed publicly.  The award winners are also recognized through a public service announcement provided to the two local newspapers. The winning posters are forwarded to the Lions District Governor for further competition.  The international winner of this contest receives an award of $5,000, which is presented at Lions Day at the United Nations. 

Harris Shoals Park Project

Oconee Lions Club has been involved with the City of Watkinsville's Harris Shoals Park for 40 years. Initially, members designed and built the Braille Trail so that sight impaired visitors could enjoy  the sounds of the forest on a safe trail. Several years ago the mayor gave the Lions permission to maintain the Braille Trail and the next year the club agreed to enlarge the maintenance effort to include removing invasive plants from the entire park area. This project has expanded to a cooperative effort with Keep Oconee Clean and Beautiful group to donate seedlings to people that contribute Christmas trees to be chipped for mulch. These are two examples of the commitment that our club has to protect and improve our environment while increasing the use of Harris Shoals Park.

Oconee Lions Youth Citizenship Award

The Oconee Lions Club annually offers a scholarship in the amount of $1,000 to a senior selected from Oconee High School and North Oconee High School.  The primary purpose of this award is to recognize graduating seniors who provide evidence of the following criteria:  (1) good citizenship demonstrated by their community service, (2) participation in school activities (3) clubs, honors and awards received (4) financial need and (5) letters of recommendation.  The award winner must have been accepted in a post secondary education program.

In cooperation with the Counseling Department of the two public high schools, the application forms are distributed to the senior class.  The applications are reviewed by a committee from the Oconee Lions Club and citizens within the community.  The winners are recognized at the Honors Night program in each school.  They are invited, along with their parents, to a Lions dinner meeting where the $1,000 check is presented to them.  The award winners are also recognized through a public service announcement provided to the two local newspapers.

Most Improved Student Award

The Oconee Lions Club, in cooperation with the two Oconee County public middle schools, offers the Most Improved Student Award to a student in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.  The students are selected by the school, and they are recognized at the end of the year Honors Day Program.  The Oconee Lions Club provides each student with a small plaque and an award of $25. 

Each school publically displays a perpetual plaque that identifies the Oconee Lions Club as a sponsor.   Brass plates, with the winner’s names, are added to the plaque each year.   The award winners are also recognized through a public service announcement provided to the two local newspapers.

Oconee Lions Club Sight Conservation Program

Guided by the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation Vision Program, the Oconee Lions Club has developed a program to assist Oconee residents experiencing financial hardship to obtain an eye exam and eyeglasses.  Individuals make application for eyeglasses through the Oconee County DFCS office, in which criteria set forth by the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, is used to determine eligibility. 

Once an individual is determined to be eligible for the assistance, the Oconee Lions Club provides a check for $50 for the eyeglasses and the examination is offered without charge by Jenkins Vision.

Mercy Clinic Eye Exam 

Oconne Lions regularly volunteer at the Mercy Eye Clnic for eye exams and glasses fittings. 

Public Service Recognition

Each year the Oconee Lions Club recognizes public servants for their contribution to public safety and medical assistance to the citizens of Oconee County.  A Peace Officer from the rank and file is selected by the Sherriff and his managers for his or her outstanding contribution during the current year.  The county Fire Chief/ Emergency Management Director along with assistant chiefs selects the Firefighter of the year and the Medical Responder of the year.  Both the fire and medical responders departments are volunteer and these volunteers are professionally trained and give freely of their time to serve Oconee  County citizens.  The recipients are recognized and presented with a plaque and gift  cards at a special community recognition club meeting.

White Cane Day 

White Cane is an annual fundraiser to support Lighthouse's eye surgeries. Every Spring, Lions Clubs across the state raise money to help cover operating costs of our surgery program, which provides over 400 sight-saving surgeries to Georgians annually. 

Lions World Community Service Day

In December, the Oconee Lions volunteer to ring the bell for the Salvation Army, helping it raise funds for their projects to aid the homeless and less fortunate. Here, 2 lions are assisted by 2 high school students who volunteered to help.

Oconee Lions Club Donates Braille Blocks to Oconee County Primary School

 Gene Lyon, President of the Oconee Lions Club, donates two sets of braille blocks to Oconee County Primary School Principal, Julie Patrick (left), and Ginger Schmidt, Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Northeast Georgia, RESA (right).  The blocks have letters of the alphabet and single digit numbers imbedded in the wood so that visually impaired students can use their sense of touch to identify the images.

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