As Lions "We Serve".
The Coboconk and District Lions Club is a part of Lions Clubs International. Lions Clubs International is the largest service organization in the world with an excess of 1.5 million members worldwide who perform community service in over 200 countries. Together Lions tackle problems such as blindness and diabetes.
Lions members are different in many ways, but they share a common belief; community is what we make it. Lions members are a network of individual Lions Clubs united in helping others and improving their communities. Lions provide immediate relief in time of disaster.
For a 100 years, whenever there is a need at home or around the world, Lions are there to help - We Serve.
The founder of Lions International was Melvin Jones; he was born on January 13, 1879. Melvin was a business man; he owned his own insurance agency in Chicago.
He was a member of a Business Circle, a businessmen's luncheon group. Melvin had a vision: What if these men, 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.
On a global level Lions have for many years been associated with their work with the blind and the prevention of blindness. This relationship arose because of the efforts of a tireless defender of the physically disadvantaged - Helen Keller. While at the 1925 International Convention, in a crowded room charged with emotion, Helen Keller challenged the Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness". A challenge which the Lions all too eagerly accepted. To honour Helen Keller the Lions made her the first female member of their association
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, Melvin Jones died June 1st, 1961 at 82 years of age.