Elizabethton Lions Club closer to reality

Published 12:01 am Saturday, April 25, 2015

NW0424 Lions Club Meeting

The new Elizabethton Lions Club is one step closer to being a reality after an organizational meeting was held Thursday afternoon.

Lions Club District Governor Ed Gibbons hosted the gathering to gauge interest in membership for a local club, and he believes the Elizabethton club is almost ready to make a comeback.

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“We are so close,” Gibbons said. “We want this to work; we really do.”

To re-establish the Elizabethton Lions Club, which was last active three years ago, at least 20 members will have to sign up and pay their dues. Gibbons hopes to get closer to 25 members for the club.

As of Thursday, at least 15 members had joined the club, including one Lion from San Antonio who is moving to the area and is transferring his membership. He will be signing up his wife also as a charter member in the Elizabethton club, Gibbons said

“Membership in the Lions is by invitation only,” Gibbons said. “So do you know why some people have not joined? Because no one has asked them.”

He then challenged those in attendance to invite at least one person to join the Elizabethton 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, 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.

The club works with local optometrists who refer customers who can’t afford services to the Lions Club. Since there has not been a Lions Club in Elizabethton for three years, the customers are being referred to the Johnson City club instead of a more local organization.

The Johnson City Lions Club has been providing an average of 10 pair glasses each month for Carter County clients.

“The goal is for the Elizabethton club to build itself up to be self-sufficient and to take over providing these services,” Gibbons said. “Johnson City will continue to do that until this club gets on its feet.”

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.