Lions Clubs International Commemorative Coin Act Introduced

sandyspringlionsclubAs we approach the 100th anniversary of our organization in 2017, Lions are looking for ways to mark this milestone. The Sandy Spring Lions Club in Maryland proposed a commemorative U.S. Mint silver dollar as a way to celebrate our centennial. With the sponsorship of Representative Peter Roskam of Illinois, the club is one step closer to making the coin a reality after the introduction of H.R. 2139.

The Sandy Spring Lions Club proposed a commemorative coin to publicize LCI accomplishments and raise funds for the Lions Clubs International Foundation.

Commemorative coins must be authorized by acts of congress. The U.S. Mint produces only two commemorative coins per year. If H.R. 2139 garners the support of 290 U.S. House of Representative members and 67 sponsors in the U.S. Senate, it will go for review by the president. If the president signs the bill into law, the coins will be available for purchase throughout 2017. Without any cost to taxpayers, each coin sold would produce US$10 for the Lions Clubs International Foundation. The estimated US$8 million generated would further the causes of the visually impaired, disabled and youth, as well as those affected by major disasters.

For more information about this nonpartisan piece of legislation or to sign up for the waiting list to purchase the coin, visit the Lions Clubs International Web site.

Happy Helen Keller Day!

Helen KellerIn 1971, the Board of Directors of Lions Clubs International declared that henceforth June 1 would be remembered as “Helen Keller Day.” Lions around the world implement sight-related service projects on Helen Keller Day.
Helen Keller

Born Helen Adams Keller on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA, the child developed a fever at 18 months of age. Afterwards, Keller was blind, deaf, and mute.

At age six, teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan of the Perkins School for the Blind was hired as Keller’s teacher. The 20-year-old taught Keller sign language and Braille. The story of the teacher and her pupil has been retold in William Gibson’s play and film, “The Miracle Worker.”

At age 10, Keller learned to speak. Sarah Fuller of the Horace Mann School was her first speech teacher.

In 1898, Helen entered the Cambridge School for Young Ladies. In the autumn of 1900, Keller entered Radcliffe College. She earned a bachelor of arts degree cum laude in 1904.

Throughout the years, Sullivan remained at her student’s side. She formed letters into Keller’s hand for comprehension of textbooks, college lectures, and conversation.
Keller’s Personal Crusade

In 1915, Keller joined the first Board of Directors of the Permanent Blind Relief War Fund, later known as the American Braille Press.

In 1924, the young woman started the Helen Keller Endowment Fund. In the same year, Keller joined the staff of the American Foundation for the Blind as a counselor on national and international relations.

On June 30, 1925, Keller addressed the Lions Clubs International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, USA. She challenged Lions to become “knights of the blind in this crusade against darkness.” (Click here to view her entire speech.) She said, “I am your opportunity. I am knocking at your door.”

In 1946, Keller became a counselor on international relations for the American Foundation for Overseas Blind (a sister organization to the American Foundation for the Blind). She traveled to 35 countries.

A movie was made of Keller’s life. “Helen Keller in Her Story” received the “Oscar” award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for best feature-length documentary film in 1955.

Keller made her last major public appearance in Washington, D.C., USA, in 1961. She received the Lions Humanitarian Award for lifetime service.

Keller died on June 1, 1968 at age 87. Her request to the Lions 43 years earlier inspired Lions Clubs International to adopt the Sight Conservation and Work with the Blind Program as a major service initiative.
Helen Keller Memorial Park

In 1971, the Lions of Alabama dedicated the Helen Keller Memorial Park. It is located on the grounds of Keller’s birthplace which is known as Ivy Green. The focal point of the memorial is a bust of Keller with an engraved plaque which states, “I am your opportunity.”

Lions Clubs March in the National Memorial Day Parade

Washington, DC (PRWEB) June 01, 2011

More than 100 Lions Club members marched down Constitution Avenue with their purple banners held high for the National Memorial Day Parade, despite the ongoing heat wave and advisory. Hydration was key with refreshing Pepsi products, generously donated by the local bottler.

SiriusXM radio host, Joe “The Black Eagle” Madison and Lions Clubs Past International President Clement “Clem” Kusiak rode the float “Saluting our Military – Beacons of Hope” with a dozen Lions military veterans who had served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. They were joined by fellow Lions from Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware carrying their club banners.

“It was a scorcher but worth every step,” said Lions District Governor Sandi Halterman. “We must remember those brave soldiers who have endured many more hardships in order for us to live in the great country we have here today.”

This is the third year Lions Clubs have participated in the parade. In past years, over 200 Lions from Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia have marched in the National Memorial Day Parade.

Lion veterans will be wearing sashes in recognition of their years of service. These Lions have proved themselves heroes on the battlegrounds, in the air, on the sea, and they continue to serve their communities today.

Madison is the host of the weekday morning coast-to-coast show on Sirius/XM Channel 128 “The Power” every Monday – Friday, 6am to 10am ET and WOL-AM in Washington DC. He is recognized as a human and civil rights activist, abolitionist against slavery in Africa, television commentator, columnist and lecturer.

Kusiak, of Linthicum, MD, is the permanent parade marshal of the Lion Delegation of the National Memorial Day Parade. He is the founder of the Kusiak Lions Youth Foundation that empowers young people to help themselves and others through activities supported by local Lions Clubs and their communities. Kusiak is the highest-ranking member of the regional international family of Lions in the national capital area.

The 2011 National Memorial Day Parade included a very special tribute to the fallen of September 11, as we approach the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Its focus was on the sacrifices of the Special Operations community, who is leading the fight in the current operations in Afghanistan. Other themes touched on included the Centennial of Naval Aviation, the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, and the 20th anniversary of the Gulf War.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.3 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world. Lions are a group of men and women who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs.

Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired, and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit

Lions Clubs International Century of Service Commemorative Coin

Lions Clubs International (LCI) is leading efforts to mint 350,000 silver dollars in recognition of our 100th Anniversary in 2017.

Lions are excited to celebrate our 100 years of service to men and women throughout the world. And, this is the first step to commemorate our centennial – while raising millions to support our global mission areas for the visually impaired, disabled, youth and those affected by disaster. Lions from all over the globe are exploring similar commemorative campaigns locally.

Congressman Peter Roskam is sponsoring the Lions Clubs International Century of Service Commemorative Coin Act thanks to Sandy Spring Lions Club, District 22-C, who formally proposed this opportunity to publicize our accomplishments and raise funds for the Lions Clubs International Foundation.

To learn more about this campaign, please read Quick Facts, Frequently Asked Questions or view our Campaign Overview.

Take Action Now!

Passage of this legislation depends on securing 290 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives and 67 co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate. We need Lions from across the United States to contact their federal lawmakers and ask them to co-sponsor the “Lions Clubs International Century of Service Commemorative Coin Act.” Write or call your lawmakers today!

  • Look up your representative in Congress by zip code
  • Fill-out this letter and send it to your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives
  • Use this phone script when calling your member’s district or Washington D.C. office
  • Before contacting your lawmakers, be sure to read these tips
  • Share your experience by filling out this report back form. Email or fax it to 630-706-9248

Lions Clubs International helping children see

By Steve Phillips
Lions Help Children's visionGULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -Some South Mississippi children with vision troubles can see more clearly now. Their eyesight was evaluated at a special clinic on Monday, where they were given some high-tech help.

The project is a partnership between Lions Clubs International and a group called Sight Savers. They hosted a low vision clinic in Gulfport, evaluating 20 youngsters with eyesight problems, then providing them with some life-changing equipment.

At 12, Trae Henderson has an easy smile and a larger than life personality.

“I can see my eyes!” he exclaimed, as he looked into a special monitor.

He learned quickly how to operate the closed circuit TV magnifier.

“Make that bigger!” urged the instructor, as Trae manipulated the magnifier controls.

A specialty camera and computer screen combo can make images and letters appear 75 times larger.

“Will it help you with your reading?” the teacher asked.

“Yes ma’am,” came the youngster’s reply.

Trae was among the visually impaired children who received this device for free, thanks to Lions Clubs and Sight Saver.

“It’s really cool. It rocks!” said the happy young man.

“It’s very gratifying to see that we’re able to help kids like this. That’s where it pays off, when you see it firsthand, just like it’s happening now,” said Howard Jenkins, representing Lions Clubs International.

“Is that something you think you would use?” the instructor asked Christopher Johnson.

“Yes,” the 15-year-old quickly answered.

Johnson discovered the benefits of the magnifier right away. The Gulfport High student began having eyesight troubles when he was five years old.

“You have to move the lens on that really gently, okay?” the teacher instructed.

He was excited to learn he was taking the magnifier home.

“It’s going to help me see everything clearly in the classrooms. It’s going to help me through school,” said Johnson.

“They’ll have all this equipment at their home to use it on a daily basis and it makes a tremendous difference in their lives,” said Jeff Haddox, president of Sight Savers.

“This is the zoom in, zoom out,” said Benjamin Durham, as he explained the magnifier to a visitor.

After seeing what a tremendous difference the magnifier makes, Durham said it will enable him to focus on his school work.

“I can see and go back to school. And I can use other devices that will help me go back to school and I’ll be able to read,” said the Three Rivers Elementary school student.

The magnifier is really pretty basic technology, but it costs about $2500. Many families can’t afford that and insurance doesn’t cover the cost.

That’s where the Lions Clubs and Sight Savers came to the rescue, providing the devices free.

Lions Clubs lead relief for victims of Japan quake, tsunami

by: The

Within 24 hours after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami that struck Northern Japan, Lions Clubs International, the largest volunteer service organization in the world, released $1.25 million to immediately assist the survivors with their most critical emergency needs.

The Lions have since raised their commitment of funds from their charitable giving arm, the Lions Clubs International Foundation, to $5 million to support the disaster relief efforts. Lions from around the world are also stepping up their fundraising with the goal of sending millions of dollars more for the victims, which also include thousands of their fellow Lions. There are more than 100,000 Lions in Japan in 3,200 clubs with 31 of those clubs based in the hardest hit area of Sendai.

Gov. Richard Wilmot, who heads the local District 4-C5 of Lions Clubs International, is joining with 14 other Lion Districts in California to reach the statewide goal of raising $100,000 for Japan. District 4-C5, which has 1,650 Lion members in 58 clubs in Nevada, Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado Counties has already raised $10,000, including more than $2,000 from five of its Leo (youth) service clubs.

For more information about Lions Clubs International’s disaster relief efforts in Japan and how you can make a donation to the Lions Clubs International Foundation, please visit or call (916) 205-4185.

Lions Clubs International Recognizes Peace Prize Poster Winner

Raj Phairembam, an 11-year-old boy from Manipur, India, will be recognized today at Lions Day with the United Nations in New York City for winning this year’s grand prize in the Lions International Peace Poster Contest.

“We live in different continents but our feelings are the same. We want to be where there is peace. We don’t want to be where there is violence and war,” said Phairembam. “We want a kingdom of peace where love prevails and where we can enjoy the freedom to play fearlessly with our friends – be it an American, an African, a European, an Australian or an Asian.”

An estimated 350,000 children, ages 11 to 13 in 70 countries around the world, participated in this year’s contest. His poster was chosen for its originality, artistic merit and portrayal of this year’s contest theme, “Vision of Peace.” Lions created the Peace Poster Contest to foster a spirit of peace and international understanding in young people worldwide.

Lions Clubs International President Sid L. Scruggs III said, “I commend Raj and all these young people for sharing their personal visions of peace with the world around them. They are truly beacons of hope for us all.”

At the event today, Phairembam will receive an award and $5,000.

In addition to the grand prizewinner, 23 merit award winners have been announced. This year’s merit winners are from Argentina, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Malta, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, New Zealand, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, the United States (California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Virginia) and Uruguay. The merit winners will each receive $500 and a certificate of achievement.

World Water Day 2011: Lions Providing Clean Water in Japan and Around the World

World Water Day LogoEvery year, the United Nations designates March 22 as World Water Day to highlight global safe water and sanitation issues around the world. We’re proud to join a diverse coalition of water, sanitation, hygiene and health organizations taking part in World Water Day 2011.

Today, our members in Japan are working to provide clean water to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. But, clean water is also a matter of life and death in many other communities. One of every eight people in the world lacks safe drinking water. Forty percent of people lack adequate sanitation. And more than 4,000 children in developing countries die every day because they don’t have clean water.

Lions have been working to provide clean water and sanitation for many years. Our members are making a difference in the worldwide water crisis by installing water purification systems in schools in India. Constructing more than 1.3 million latrines. And providing thousands of clean water wells through 148 LCIF water projects.