Elizabethton Lions Club to make comeback

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, April 21, 2015

After years of inactivity, the Lions Club may be returning to Elizabethton.

National and regional Lions Club leaders will be hosting an informational and organizational meeting Thursday at noon at Dino’s Restaurant to start a new Lions Club.

Lions Clubs provide eye examinations, eye glasses and eye surgeries to the less fortunate, plus support projects that improve education, assist the disabled and improve the safety of the community. The possibilities are endless, Carl Harrell of Lions Club International said. Each Lions club determines the projects that the members feel will benefit their community the most.

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The Elizabethton Lions Club was last active around three years ago, District Governor Ed Gibbons said. As the members in the club started to age, membership declined since no new members were sought to fill the vacant spots. The club is now on a mission to rebuild that membership.

“We hated to see the club fold,” Gibbons said. “At one time, it was a very active club in Elizabethton. It was a good Lions Club and it was good for community. This is too nice of a community to not have a Lions Club.”

The effort is now underway to restart the Lions Club of Elizabethton because a need has been seen from the community, Gibbons said.

One of the main efforts of the organization is to provide eye examinations, glasses and surgeries to those in need. The club works with local optometrists who refer customers who can’t afford services. Since there has not been a Lions Club in Elizabethton for years, the customers are being referred to the Johnson City club instead of a more local organization. To restart the club, at least 20 members are needed, Gibbons said.

“Carl and I are going to be canvassing Elizabethton, looking for people who are interested in becoming members,” Gibbons said. “We have contact information for people who used to be in the club and we will be reaching out to them as well.”

Anyone interested in joining is welcome to attend the meeting at Dino’s on Thursday. The club is open to anyone who wishes to participate. The costs associated with being a member includes a $30 one-time entrance fee with monthly dues that average $7, Harrell said.

“Anyone can come and there is no obligation if they do,” he said. “This is an informational session, a chance to ask questions and get answers about the club.”

Lions Clubs International is the largest service club in the world with over 1.4 million members, in over 45,000 Lions clubs in 210 countries around the world, Harrell said.

For more information visit www.lionsclubs.org