The International Association of Lions Clubs began as the dream of Chicago business leader Melvin Jones. He believed that local business clubs should expand their horizons from purely professional concerns to the betterment of their communities and the world at large. On June 7, 1917, an organizational meeting was held in Chicago, and in October of that year a constitution, by-laws, objects, and code of ethics were approved at a convention in Dallas, Texas. In June 2017 we will celebrate 100 years of service at our International Convention in Chicago, Illinois.
Among the objects adopted was one that read, "No club shall hold out for the financial betterment of its members as its object." This call for unselfish service to others remains one of the association's main tenets. Just three years after its formation, the association became international when the first club in Canada was established in Windsor, Ontario in 1920.
In 1925 Helen Keller addressed the Lions international convention in Cedar Point, Ohio. She challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." From this time onwards, Lions clubs have been actively involved in service to the blind and visually impaired.
To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.