Lions Clubs International (LCI) is an international secular, non-political service organization established originally in 1917 by Chicago businessman Melvin Jones. As of April 2015, it had over 46,000 local clubs and more than 1.4 million members in over 200 countries around the world. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, United States, the organization aims to meet the needs of communities on a local and global scale.
The Cape Coral Lions Club is proud to have been a part of LCI for many years. Membership in the club diminished to the point where, around 2015, the club was in danger of shutting down. Two Lions, Past District Governor Bill Moulton and his spouse, Judy, settled in the Cape from Vermont and revived the club. Together, and with much vigor and determination, they began the process of rebuilding the club. Slowly at first but then gaining momentum, they grew membership to its present (2019) 20 full time and 3 associate members. Associate members are snowbirds who belong to Lions clubs in another state and who winter here in the Cape. With their constant dedication, the club membership continues to grow.
During this time, the club established a vision and hearing screening service for schools and has screened hundreds of children for sight and hearing loss. The club regularly donates funds for individuals in need for optical examination and prescription eyeglasses.
Under Lion Bill’s guidance, many businesses agreed to place Lions collection boxes at their locations for members of the public to donate used eyeglasses. We collect them regularly, sort them and then send them to be redistributed to those who need them all over the world. (See eyeglass donation locations)
In 2018, several members became certified to conduct screenings for diabetes and the club has conducted several screenings for children and adults to determine their blood sugar levels. Those with higher than normal blood sugar levels are referred to appropriate medical professionals.
The Cape Coral Lions Club has donated money for other charitable causes and strongly supports the Southwest Florida Council of the Blind, participating in many of their activities. One activity we particularly enjoy is providing “sighted elves” before Christmas to accompany blind persons and help them do Christmas shopping.
In January, 2018, the club conducted its first major fundraiser, a Texas Hold’Em Poker Tournament. It was hugely successful thanks to the hard work of its members. Participants enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner, bid on silent auction items and played poker. Members of the public who attended had nothing but praise and asked that we do this again. Another tournament was held in 2019 and the 3rd is planned for 2020.
In 2018 we sponsored a T-Ball team through the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Lion members went to several of the games to proudly cheer on our team – the Indians. Check them out on our events page! We now sponsor teams each year.
For the last two years before Christmas, club members worked with the Salvation Army to ring the bell for donations and broke many records for most donations received. We intend to continue doing this.
Our club sponsors membership in the Florida Association of School Nurses which allows the nurse to dispense vouchers for prescription eyeglasses to students in need.
One of our most esteemed members, Lion Bob Edgin, passed away in 2018. As a tribute to him, people who knew him donated money to our club in his name. This established the Bob Edgin Special Needs Fund to be used for charitable work other than vision, hearing and diabetes.
The present membership is comprised of people from all backgrounds and from different parts of the world. Together they enjoy camaraderie while helping those less fortunate.
Although growing at a satisfactory pace, we are constantly looking for new members who are civic-minded and who enjoy serving the needs of the community. Join Us!