The Montgomery Lions Club is an integral part of the International Association of Lions Clubs International. The Montgomery Lions Club was organized and received its charter in June 1922. Fifty-one members composed the charter roll.
Lions Clubs International is the worlds largest service club organization with nearly 1.4+ million members in 46 thousand clubs in 194 countries and geographic areas.
Lions are men and women who volunteer their time to humanitarian causes with the motto “We Serve.” Each Lion serves as a volunteer, donating his or her time and talent to continue the solid reputation for community service and traditional family values through the outreach of saving sight and serving youth. Our Club’s commitment to the deserving children of Montgomery mirrors generations of caring Lions and is woven into the fabric of each relationship and written into its plans for tomorrow.
The focus of the Club has been on (1) Sight Conservation, (2) Youth Programs, and (3) Charitable Organizations who need help in meeting their goal of assisting those in need.
Recent support includes providing eye exams, eye glasses, and extended eye care to children and adults who could not otherwise afford care. Other efforts include contributions to a number of local groups which are listed below.
Funds to support the Club’s outreach come from proceeds from the following events: Chili Cook Off, Cycling for Sight and the Charity Deer Hunt.
Guided by the vision and leadership of Lions who have come before us and by those who will lead us into the future, the Montgomery Lions Club will continue to bring light where there was darkness through sight conservation, support for youth and assistance for organizations working for the betterment of the community.
Proud of Our Past
We have served the community by providing 14,000 Montgomery County school children free eye screenings annually. Children requiring additional treatment are provided with examinations by physicians, medicine, glasses and surgery as needed. We conduct summer camps for deserving boys and girls, and create a better understanding among people throughout the world, with the William C. Chandler Lions International Youth Camp.
Who We Serve
Sight - Sight services include vision screening, eye examinations, glasses, medication, Ophthalmic operations, and guide dogs.
Boys and Girls Camps - Since 1929, The Montgomery Lions Club has been giving deserving boys and girls an opportunity to have a summer camping experience. Over 14,000 young people have been served since the inception of this program.
Montgomery Lions Club Charity Foundation puts a special emphasis on academic scholarships for deserving college students. The Club's appropriations are supplemented by gifts from Lions members.
Community Support - The Montgomery Lions Club allocated Community Support assistance to the following organizations in 2018: Common Ground, Brantwood Children's Home, That's My Child, Child Protect, MACOA, Triumph Services, & Sickle Cell Foundation of the River Region.
Extra: Plan to Expand Montgomery Riverfront with assistance from the Montgomery Lions Club.
Please help us continue helping others. Ask how to join the Montgomery Lions Club today!
To view our Club bylaws, click the link below.
Key Individuals in Lions Club History
Melvin Jones, Founder of Lions Clubs International
Melvin Jones was born on January 13, 1879 in Fort Thomas, Arizona, the son of a United States Army captain who commanded a troop of scouts. Later, his father was transferred and the family moved east. As a young man, Melvin Jones made his home in Chicago, Illinois, became associated with an insurance firm and in 1913 formed his own agency.
He soon joined the Business Circle, a businessmen's luncheon group, and was shortly elected secretary. This group was one of many at that time devoted solely to promoting the financial interests of their membership. Because of their limited appeal, they were destined to disappear. Melvin Jones, however, had other plans. "What if these men," he asked, "who are successful because of their drive, intelligence and ambition, were to put their talents to work improving their communities?" Thus, at his invitation, delegates from men's clubs met in Chicago to lay the groundwork for such an organization and on June 7, 1917, Lions Clubs International was born.
Melvin Jones eventually abandoned his insurance agency to devote himself full time to Lions at International Headquarters in Chicago. It was under his dynamic leadership that Lions clubs earned the prestige necessary to attract civic-minded members. The association's founder was also recognized as a leader by those outside the association. One of his greatest honors was in 1945 when he represented Lions Clubs International as a consultant in San Francisco, California, at the organization of the United Nations. Melvin Jones, the man whose personal code – "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else" – became a guiding principle for public-spirited people the world over, died June 1, 1961 at 82 years of age.
William Carroll Chandler, Past International President , September 4, 1925 – September 17, 2006
In 1980, when Bill Chandler was elected president of the International Association of Lion Clubs, he began an incredible year of travel, visiting all fifty states, all twelve Canadian provinces, and a total of 42 countries. But in his home town of Montgomery, Alabama, USA, where he died September 17 at the age of 81, he will long be remembered for his service to his immediate community through the Lions Club and the Montgomery YMCA.
William Carroll Chandler was born and grew up in Augusta, Georgia. He attended Georgia Tech, and earned a degree in mathematics at Rice and a degree in sociology from the University of Georgia. He spent 16 months in the Pacific during World War II, serving aboard a Navy minesweeper. In 1948, at the age of 22, he moved to Montgomery to work for the YMCA, beginning a 54-year professional association with that organization, of which he became the general director in 1953.
Chandler also joined the Montgomery Lions Club in 1948, beginning his service as a Junior Lions camp director. During the 1960s, he chaired the Lions Club Helen Keller Memorial project (Keller was a native Alabamian), founded the Montgomery Lions International Youth Camp, and served as Montgomery Lions Club president; in 1973-75 he served as a member of the international association’s board of directors before being elected president at the association’s 63rd annual convention held in July 1980 in Chicago. A personal highlight of his presidency was meeting with Pope John Paul II.
He also served as the president and television chairperson of the Lions-sponsored Blue-Gray Football Game and as the coordinator of the Alabama Lions High School Conference. He received 18 International Presidents Awards, the Melvin Jones Extension Award, the Key Member Award, and the District Governor’s Extension Award. He was a Melvin Jones Fellow and recipient of the Ambassador of Goodwill Award.
With other Montgomery residents in 1983, he helped found the Bi-Racial Committee, later called One Montgomery. His home town honors include the Distinguished Service Award from the Montgomery Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Montgomery Advertiser and Alabama Citizen of the Year for 1991.
Chandler’s wife Martha Spidel Chandler died in 1993, during the 40th year of their marriage; his survivors include three children and seven grandchildren. At Chandler’s funeral, his son William Robert Chandler said that the honors and perks his father received were unimportant to his father. “If there is a message that we can all take from his life, it is that it’s a privilege and duty to serve your fellow man. He went around the world to do that.”
Donations to P.I.P. Bill Chandler’s legacy of Lionism can be made here: Contact Us to Donate.
Helen Keller, Activist and Philanthropist for the Blind Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA, in 1880, Helen Keller developed a fever at 18 months of age that left her blind and deaf.
With the help of an exceptional teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan of the Perkins School for the Blind, Keller learned sign language and braille. A few years later, she learned to speak. As an adult she became a tireless advocate for people with disabilities. And in 1925, Keller attended the Lions Clubs International Convention and challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness."
The Lions accepted Keller's challenge and our work ever since has included sight programs aimed at preventable blindness.
Helen Keller Day
In 1971, the Board of Directors of Lions Clubs International declared that June 1 would be remembered as Helen Keller Day. Lions around the world implement sight-related service projects on Helen Keller Day.