Mayor Proclaims Jan. 18 as Austin Downtown Founder Lions Club Day
Austin Mayor Steve Adler has proclaimed Jan. 18 at Austin Downtown Founder Lions Club Day in recognition of the club’s 100th anniversary. Adler announced the proclamation at the club’s Jan. 9 Centennial Gala at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, which kicked off a centennial year of activities.
In the proclamation, Adler notes the “great many improvements” the club has made in the “lives of all Austinites,” including:
* Opening of the Municipal Golf Course which became the first desegregated golf course in the South;
* Serving as “Knights of the Blind” by sponsoring and supporting many programs for the blind and visually impaired, such as Kidsight Vision Screening, the Lone Star Eye Bank and Leader Dogs for the Blind; and
* Providing scholarship for students attending the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
The club began Jan. 18, 1916, when 29 men came together in a "dingy, poorly lighted" meeting hall at 704 Congress, above Burt's Shoe Company, to sign a charter as The Austin Lions Club. A 30th charter member signed a few days later.
The Austin club actually pre-dates Lions Clubs International, which will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2017. During 1916-17, Dr. William P. Woods, a surgeon of Evansville, Indiana, founded the International Association of Lions Clubs and organized about 30 clubs, including the Austin group. These clubs – including the Austin club – and several other organizations were invited to a meeting in Chicago on June 7, 1917, to consider the establishment of a single international organization of service clubs. Melvin Jones’ Chicago Business Circle elected to become a Lions Club, and three years later, the International Association of Lions Clubs reorganized as Lions Clubs International. The Austin club is the oldest continuously operating Lions Club in the world.
With a roster of 103, the club’s members include men and women from all walks of life, including judges; legislators; Austin Independent School District officials and board members; Travis County elected officials, former mayors of Austin; architects; certified public accountants; bank presidents; insurance executives; communications professionals; ministers; volunteers; veterans and others. Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world, with 1.4 million members in more than 47,000 clubs serving communities in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.
With the motto, “Where There’s a Need, There’s a Lion,” service is the driving force for Austin Founder Lions and Lions all over the world. Austin Founder Lions serve in the areas of vision, the environment, youth and hunger.
ADFLC Sporting Clay Benefits Center for Child Protection
Tara Powdrill accepts a check for $7,800, for the Center for Child Protection, the primary benefactor of the ADFLC's 2015 Sporting Clay Shoot-out. Tommy Cowan, left, co-chairman, Chairman Jim Overton, and Larry Najvar, right, co-chairman, made the presentation. Due to the success of the event, the amount contributed to CFCP almost doubled from 2014.
The Austin Downtown Founder Lions Club held its Fifth Annual Sporting Clay Shoot-out on July 31 at Capitol City Trap & Skeet in Austin. ADFLC netted more than $13,000.00 from the event, which primarily benefits the Austin Center for Child Protection. Learn More...
Roses have been Delivered
On Thursday October 22, Austin Downtown Founder Lions Club members fanned out across the Greater Austin area and hand-delivered beautiful long-stemmed red roses packaged in attractive florist boxes.
If you placed an order for roses, Thank You for your support of the Austin Downtown Founder Lions Club. And another Thank You to the members and volunteers who took orders, prepared the roses in boxes and delivered them to their recipients.
If you ordered roses and have a question or concern, please call 512-739-6670 and we will do our best to help you.
ADFLC Provides Vision Screening at El Mundo Back to School Fest
Austin Downtown Founder Lions screened more than 303 children during El Mundo Newspaper's Back-to-School Fest on Aug. 22 at the Delco Center. Some 91 children -- or 30 percent -- were referred for complete eye exams, and a number received on-site exams and glasses from the Essilor Vision Foundation's mobile van that was on-site. The event attracted 6,209 participants!
Lion Robert Watson uses the SPOT camera to check a young girl's eyes.
Some 6,902 individuals crowded into the Delco Center on Aug. 22, 2015 for El Mundo Newspaper's Back to School Fest. To qualify for a free backpack, children had to obtain three health checks. ADFLC's vision screening was one of four health checks available.
ADFLC members posed for a picture before the event started. Pictured left to right are: Gus Garcia, Glenda Summers, Ann Ward (seated), Beverly Weeks, Tommy Cowan, Ann Cowan, Robert Watson, Bob Walcott and Shirley Dillman, seated. Also serving but not pictured were Chaney Barton and Roberto Martinez.
Eyeglasses RecyclingWant to help us give sight to the world? Find local eye glass recycling drop-off locations here: CLICK HERE
According to The World Health Organization, 153 million people have uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). Most of these vision impairments are quickly diagnosed and easy to treat with corrective lenses.
Still, millions of people in developing nations are pushed deeper into poverty simply because they don't have glasses. They can't learn, because reading is difficult. They can't work to the best of their ability, because they can't see clearly.
It costs Lions less than US$0.08 to provide a pair of recycled eyeglasses and change someone's life. For children, clear vision means a better education, healthier development and a better quality of life. For adults, it means greater employment opportunity and economic strength. For seniors it means less dependence on others. Lions clubs collect millions of eyeglasses each year, making eyeglass recycling one of our most popular activities. Will you help us in our mission to give sight to the world? Donate your used glasses today!
Would You Like to Serve YOUR Community?
Come get to know the Lions and join us for a delicious catered lunch, an interesting program and wonderful fellowship for an hour every Thursday at 11:45 at the High Road, 700 Dawson Road.
Please see the calendar for more information and to register to attend our next meeting.
A History of Quality and Service
Established in Austin Texas in 1916, our club has been known as the Austin Lions Club, the Lions Club of Austin, and the Downtown Lions Club. In 1976, the name was formally changed to the Founder Lions Club of Austin. We are now known as the Austin Downtown Founder Lions Club and the history of the Austin Downtown Founder Lions Club is a long one of quality and service.
Past and present members include many of the most prominent names in both Austin and Texas' history - U.S. Congressman J.J. "Jake" Pickle, Austin mayor Gus Garcia, both Willie Kocurek and his son Neal Kocurek, and more - all dedicated to the service of humanity through the spirit of Lionism and its many community outreach programs.
We admit we are a bit proud of our status as the "world's oldest continuously operating Lions Club", but, we like to think that our efforts in community service are typical of Lions Clubs the world over. It's a story of garage sales, golf tournaments, rose sales and other kinds of fund raisers. It's a story of answering the needs of the community and of disadvantaged groups and individuals, through efforts such as our Eyeglasses Recycling program, support of the Texas Lions Camp, eyeglasses for students and other projects. And it's a story of building and working with other Lions Clubs to promote teamwork in service.
We are perhaps most proud, however, to be a part of Lions Clubs International, which provides the opportunity to support nonpartisan service activities that are worldwide in scope. Through Lions International we can help fight blindness and other social problems around the world while promoting international understanding, and that's what makes our association so special. The club participates in projects with other clubs in surrounding counties known as Lions District 2-S3.