Lions have been serving their communities and meeting the needs of others around the worlds for over 100 years, and since 1920, the Lions of Ohio have been doing their part. In 2020, Ohio Lions will celebrate their 100th anniversary. Some important dates for Ohio and Lions Clubs International are:
1917: The Beginning
In response to social problems created by World War I and rapid industrialization, a Chicago businessman named Melvin Jones invites business clubs from around the USA to a meeting where the Association of Lions Clubs is formed.
1920: Ohio Joins
The "Ohio District" is formed when the first club in Ohio was chartered in Cleveland and 12 more clubs around the state soon followed.
1920: Lions Go International
Just three years after founding, the association becomes international when the Border Cities Lions Club in Windsor, Canada is established. At the time, Lions were active in 23 U.S. states with a total of 6,400 members.
1925: Lions become "Knights of the Blind"
Helen Keller addresses Lions at the International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, USA. She famously challenges Lions to become "Knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." This begins a century-long mission – impacting hundreds of millions of lives through vision related work.
1945: Uniting Nations
Lions and other representatives for 46 nations meet to help establish the NGO section of the United Nations (UN), underscoring Lions International's commitment to a "certain and lasting peace for the world." Today, Lions continue to work with the UN at the annual Lions Day and the United Nations.
1957: Leos Are Introduced
The Leo program is developed to provide the youth of the world with an opportunity for development through volunteering. Today, there are more than 175,000 Leos and 7,000 Leo Clubs in over 140 countries worldwide.
1968: Establishing Our Foundation
Lions Clubs International Foundation is created, with the mission "to support the efforts of Lions clubs and partners in serving communities locally and globally, giving hope and impacting lives through humanitarian service projects and grants." Today, our foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants.
- Ohio Lions History 101 (detailed timeline of Ohio Lions MD13 by PDG Bill Keller)
- Ohio Lions District Maps, 1920-Present Day