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 "A true volunteer is one who wakes up every day with the thought of doing something good for someone else." ~ Melvin Jones, the founder of the Lions Club International.

Lions Club Founder

Melvin Jones Biography

Melvin Jones was born on January 13, 1879 in Fort Thomas, Arizona, the son of a United States Army captain who commanded a troop of scouts. Later, his father was transferred and the family moved east. As a young man, Melvin Jones made his home in Chicago, Illinois, became associated with an insurance firm and in 1913 formed his own agency.

He soon joined the Business Circle, a businessmen's luncheon group, and was shortly elected secretary. This group was one of many at that time devoted solely to promoting the financial interests of their membership. Because of their limited appeal, they were destined to disappear. Melvin Jones, then a 38-year-old Chicago business leader, had other plans.

"What if these men," Melvin Jones asked, "who are successful because of their drive, intelligence and ambition, were to put their talents to work improving their communities?" Thus, at his invitation, delegates from men's clubs met in Chicago to lay the groundwork for such an organization and on June 7, 1917, Lions Clubs International was born.

Melvin Jones eventually abandoned his insurance agency to devote himself full time to Lions at International Headquarters in Chicago. It was under his dynamic leadership that Lions clubs earned the prestige necessary to attract civic-minded members.

The association's founder was also recognized as a leader by those outside the association. One of his greatest honors was in 1945 when he represented Lions Clubs International as a consultant in San Francisco, California, at the organization of the United Nations.

Melvin Jones, the man whose personal code – "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else" – became a guiding principle for public-spirited people the world over, died June 1, 1961 at 82 years of age.

Frank V. Birch Clarence L. Sturm

Wisconsin Lions Club only International Directors

This fellowship is intended to recognize individuals who exemplify dedication and commitment to Lionism.
In 1990, the Birch-Sturm Fellowship was created by the Wisconsin Lions Foundation to honor those individuals who exemplify undying dedication and commitment to Lionism. The Fellowship is named after Wisconsin’s only International Presidents, Frank V. Birch and Clarence L. Sturm who were great supporters of the Foundation.

Frank V. Birch


• 1924 Joined the Milwaukee Central Lions Club
• 1929-30 District Governor
• 1931 Elected to International Board of Directors
• 1934 Elected Third Vice President
• 1937-38 President of Lions International

Clarence L. Sturm


• 1929 Joined Manawa Lions Club
• 1941-42 District Governor
• 1948 Elected to International Board of Directors
• 1956 Elected Third Vice President
• 1959-60 President of Lions International
In 2012, the Foundation recognized the need to create a seperate organization known as the Birch-Sturm Memorial Fund, Inc. to administer the Birch-Sturm Fellowships.


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Frequently Asked Questions

When was Lions Clubs International founded?
June 7, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Who was the founder of Lions Clubs International?
Melvin Jones (1879-1961)
What is the emblem of Lions Clubs International?
The emblem consists of a gold letter "L" on a circular purple field. Bordering this is a circular gold area with two lion profiles facing away from the center. The word "Lion" and "International" appear at the top and bottom. The Lions are meant to face both a proud past and confident future.

What is the motto of Lions Clubs International?
The association's motto, "We Serve," precisely explains its mission.

What is the slogan of Lions Clubs International?
"Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation's Safety" (LIONS).

What are the colors of Lions Clubs International?
The official colors are purple and gold -- purple for loyalty and integrity; gold for sincerity, liberality, purity, and generosity.
What is the address of Lions Clubs International Headquarters?
Lions Clubs International
300 W. 22nd Street
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523-8842, USA
(630) 571-5466
What is the address for the official Lions Clubs International Website?

Lions Club Mission Statement

To create and foster a spirit of understanding
among all people for humanitarian needs
by providing voluntary services
through community involvement and international cooperation.


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