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PO Box 25033
 RPO Huron Street Stratford , ON,  N5A OB4


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When a group of people join together, roll up their sleeves and take action on projects to make their community better, it’s a beautiful thing—and an incredible feeling for everyone involved. That’s Lions. Being a Lion is about leading by example, building relationships and improving the world through kindness. It’s how caring men and women serve together so they can make an even greater impact and change more lives. 


Every journey begins with a single step. One act of service, one encouraging word, one gift of generosity is often all it takes to bring hope where it’s needed most.

Over the last 100 years, the kindness of Lions and Leos has multiplied across borders, oceans, and continents. With over 1.4 million members, we now have an opportunity to truly change our world.

That’s why we’re uniting our global service around five areas of need. These Global Causes present significant challenges to humanity, and we believe it’s our turn to meet them.

Our Global Causes, Diabetes, Environment, Hunger, Childhood Cancer, and Vison


Lionism first took root in Stratford in the fall of 1924, and was officially chartered on January 13, 1925. Sponsored by the Seaforth Lions, under the leadership of the club's first president, L. F. McCaul, the Stratford club with its 25 members celebrated its first charter night.

Since then, 97 presidents have led the club through many successful community projects and fundraisers.

Shortly after the club was chartered, its main service to the community became the provision of glasses and eye care to children whose parents were unable to afford them. Sight and blindness still remain the top priority of Lions Clubs around the world.

The Stratford club has collected several thousand pairs of glasses over the years through optometrist's offices. The Beacon Herald and along parade routes. These have been distributed to foreign countries to needy people who've not had the joy of proper sight.

During the 1920's, Stratford Lions were responsible for organizing the Victoria Day celebrations.

In 1929, the club gave moral and financial support to the park management to proceed with the construction of the Lakeside Drive Band Shell, which eventually opened September 29, 1929. Sixty years later, in 1989, the Lions spearheaded a drive to restore the Band Shell with help from the Stratford and Area Builders Association. A Heritage plaque was received in February 1990 from L. A. C. A. C. through city council for the restored building.

The Lions took on yet another major project in the 1930"s. Believing Stratford would benefit from a safe, clean and pleasing swimming pool - to replace the "old swimming hole" or the Avon River - it decided to build a pool.

This was quite a feat, considering the entire country was in the height of the Depression. The pool, although a recreation project, was also important because it provided work for many of the jobless in Stratford.

On July 6, 1932, before a crowd of approximately 3,000, the Lions Club Swimming Pool was officially opened. Although ownership was turned over to the city that night, the responsibility for the pool's operation, maintenance and eventual expansion belonged to the Lions for the next 32 years.

The Lions have now reviewed their role and have recently (1999) completed payment on a much needed liner at a cost of $75,000. Extensive work is still required to keep the pool open. These projects are being considered by the Lions Club.

During the Second World War, Stratford Lions provided moral, physical and financial support to a number of patriotic funds, such as the Canadian Red Cross, the Perth Regiment, and the Lions British Child War Victims' Fund. During this time, several Lions served overseas as well.

In 1967, three years after the club's withdrawal from involvement in the pool, they started the ball rolling again on another project in the south end of the city, known as Dufferin Park.

From 1967 to the early 1980s, the club was responsible for improvements to the grounds, playground equipment, and the building of an open-air artificial pad for skating. Eventually the rink was enclosed and named the Lions Dufferin Arena. In 1982, Lions and their families celebrated with ceremonies, which included the burning of the mortgage on the arena.

In order for the Lions Club to contribute these thousands of dollars to the community, they have been involved in many fundraising activities. The club's first fundraiser event, shortly after their charter, was a skating carnival, known as the Lions Fancy Dress Ice Carnival.

Another fundraising event, started in the 1930s, was the Lions Jamboree, where activities included evening bazaars, games of chance, draws for cars, and often a dance.
Another popular annual event, which started in 1982 and lasted 10 years, was the annual Lobsterfest dinner and dance. During the peak years, Lions cooked more than 1,000 lobsters a night.

Over the last several years, fundraisers and activities have included a Mother's Day brunch, a walk-a-dog-a-thon for canine Vision Canada, Chili cook-off for Heartburn Day, an Antique and Unique Car Show, helping and financially contributing to the Children's Miracle Network Telethon, as well as contributing to Lions projects for Sight, Diabetes, Drug Awareness and the Lions International Youth Exchange program. Our latest project is collecting eyeglass and sending them to Guatemala with workers and professionals to do eye examinations.

Stratford Lions are a part of the International Association of Lions Clubs and support its many projects about the world. Lionism is partly a club and partly an ideal. Our club has been a success because the people in the community in which we live and strive to improve, appreciate the basic reasons on which our organization is founded.


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