Lions Club Celebrates 100 Years of Making a Difference!

Lions Club Celebrates 100 Years of Making a Difference!

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By Andrea Grimaldi

YOU’VE SEEN THEM AT INTERSECTIONS, bravely standing in between lanes wearing brightly colored vests, collecting donations in exchange for tootsie rolls. You might have seen the Lion logos on the sponsor board for marathons you’ve run, or charity events you have donated to. But do you know how expansive the Lions Club is?

The Lion’s Club has over two million members enrolled in over 50,000 clubs in over 210 countries. 2017 is their 100-year anniversary. Started in 1917 by Chicago business man Melvin Jones, the Lion’s Club has always been focused on bettering the world. They are entwined in American history. In 1925, Helen Keller visited the Lion’s Club’s Inter-national Conference and challenged the club to be the Knights of the Blind – to help the blind to see, to help the silent speak. One hundred years later, the Club is still working towards this promise worldwide.

The influence the club has had on Michigan alone is profound. The Hazel Park chapter itself is celebrating their 70th anniversary. They currently have 75 members, with 10 new members from this year alone. Their Centennial Celebration was held on June 3rd at the Decarlo’s Banquet & Convention, at 10 Mile and Mound Road. All clubs and members are invited. While there is not a chapter currently in Ferndale, residents are more than welcome to join the Hazel Park club to volunteer at their various events or invite them to charity opportunities.

The Hazel Park Lions keep very busy. They award three college scholarships to Hazel Park students annually, sponsored by their White Cane drives and beer tent donations at the Hazel Park carnival. The scholarships last four years for each recipient. The last two Hazel Park mayors have been official members, along with many other prominent members of the city.

The Lion’s extend themselves outside of Hazel Park as well. They work with the Ferndale Police force to collect hearing aids and glasses for the homeless population. They regularly donate to the Rochester Leader Dogs for the Blind. They work with the Penrickton Center for Blind Children in Taylor, Michigan. They help fund and build wheel-chair ramps, sponsor Junior Diabetes Walks, participate in the Hazel Park Memorial Day Parade. The list of charities and foundations they work with throughout Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne Counties is extensive and constantly growing.

The group jumps to work with specific cases out-side of their main group of charities as well; when a local man had a heart transplant, the Lions donated and installed a generator in his home to keep his pace maker going should the power go out. They choose children to sponsor during the holidays. They sponsor bowl-a-funds and other charitable events for families in need that come to their attention.

Several attempts at starting Ferndale chapters have occurred, unfortunately they have never lasted. However, the Hazel Park club is open to Ferndale residents and charities. The club meets every second and fourth Monday at the conveniently located Hazel Park Recreation Center. Joining is simple – just attend a few meetings and get to know the members, and they’ll eagerly welcome you with open paws. They also welcome participation and volunteers from outside the club. Stop by a meeting or follow their Facebook to learn about upcoming events, and help better the world around you.


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