Carson Valley Lions Club Award Winning Publication

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The Story of Lions and the Carson Valley Lions Club

The year was 1917 and while war was raging on in Europe the Association of Lions Clubs was born.  It all began as a dream of a Chicago businessman named Melvin Jones (the birthday of Melvin Jones is January 13).  He was a member of a local business club called the Business Circle of Chicago.  He believed that local business clubs should expand their horizons and join together for the betterment of their communities.  Groups from all over the U.S. who believed as Melvin Jones did met in Dallas on October 17 of that year and the Association of Lions Clubs was formed.  Three years later the association became international with clubs forming in Canada and Mexico.  Today Lions International is the largest service club in the world with almost 1.4 million members in 46,000 clubs and in 207 counties.

In 1925 a person by the name of Hellen Keller, who was both blind and deaf, addressed the Lions at its convention, challenging the lions to become Knights of the Blind.  Since then Lions have been actively involved in service to the blind and visually impaired.  Today some of the other major undertakings by Lions are drug awareness, sight conservation dealing with the causes of and prevention of blindness, working with the deaf, and youth exchange programs.

The Carson Valley Lions club began in the spring of 1953 when some farmers from Smith Valley came over the hill and met with farmers and businessmen in Carson Valley to form the Carson Valley Lions Club.  One of the first things the new Lions Club did was to contact the schools about providing eye glasses and care for the youth of Carson Valley.

Today the Carson Valley Lions Club has many service projects that benefit our local community, such as the following:

In February we go to all the 4th grade classes and provide American flags to every student and share with them our pride in our flag. 

In March we provide an opportunity for high school students to take part in a speech contest that could win them over $6,000 in scholarships funds.

In June we award scholarships to graduating seniors.  Also in June we assist the 20-30 Club with the Carson Valley Days parade and we sell the Carson Valley Days buttons.  At the end of June we sponsor two kids to spend a week at Camp Dat-So-La-Lee, a Lions camp for underprivileged 10- and 11-year-olds in the Ruby Mountains near Elko.

July starts with our flag display program.  Five times a year we line Main Street in Minden and Gardnerville with flags.  It’s very impressive driving down Main Street on a holiday and seeing all those flags.  Also in July we support the 20/30 Club’s Back-to-School Days with a shopping spree to help underprivileged kids get school supplies. We sell breakfast and lunch at the Town of Gardnerville’s Independence Day event at Heritage Park.

August is a busy month for the Carson Valley Lions Club.  We sponsor at least one child to attend Camp Buck for a week.  Camp Buck is a special camp for kids with diabetes, who may not be able to attend another camp because of their special needs.  And we cook a hamburger dinner for the young people at China Springs Youth Camp.

In November we offer the opportunity for Douglas students to take part in the Lions peace Poster contest. November is also Diabetes Awareness Month and we have a program on diabetes awareness since diabetes is the leading cause of blindness today.

In November and December we start our annual food drive to benefit the Carson Valley Food Closet. The Carson Valley Lions Club has supported this annual food drive since it first started in 1989.  Also in November and December we have our annual See’s Candy sales, one of our biggest fundraisers.  In December we support the Project Santa program.  And finally, we finish off the year with our club’s annual Holiday Party, a time for us to celebrate our accomplishments!

Aside from all the items listed above, throughout the year we provide eye care and eyeglasses for those in need, and we collect used eyeglasses and provide them to 3rd world countries to be refurbished and reused.

Some of the other programs that we support are the Kids Fishing Derby, Kids and Horses Therapeutic Riding Center, Austin House, Douglas High School Safe Grad Night, Lions Canine Companions, Lions Eye Foundation, and both the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts of Carson Valley.

For over 100 years, whenever there is a need at home or around the world, Lions are there to help.  Every person owes part of their time and talents to the community in which they live.  It’s very rewarding knowing that you have made a difference.  If you would like to be a part of the Lions and give back to this great community please contact us.

We meet the 1st and 3rd Wednesday’s Dinner at 5:00pm meeting at 6 at Cook'd 1644 Hwy 395N. Minden, NV. 89423


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