The Davenport Host Lions Club is actively seeking new members to join our Lions Club. Members enjoy fellowship, develop leadership abilities and dedicate part of their free time helping those in need and to improve their communities. Membership is open to all male and female members of all races. Members must be of good moral character.
The club is a member of the International Association of Lions Clubs with membership in countries around the world. The Association was started in 1917 in the city of Chicago by Melvin Jones who was a member of the Business Circle Club, made up primarily of Chicago businessmen. Melvin felt like there should be a club formed dedicated to helping others who were less fortunate than he was. He invited members from 23 other various clubs from around the United States to come to Chicago and explore his idea. They met on June 17, 1917 at the La Salle Hotel and liked the idea of helping others and also their communities. The name they chose was the Association of Lion Clubs.
The Association became international in 1920 when clubs were formed in Canada. Membership continued to grow in both countries and by 1927 clubs were formed in Mexico, Cuba and China. The new name for the Association of Lions Clubs became The International Association of Lions Clubs.
Membership has continued to grow worldwide, and now there are clubs in 207 countries and geographical locations around the world. There are over 46,600 clubs with membership of 1.4 million members worldwide. The Association demonstrates that members of all races and religions can work together for a common cause, service to others.
Mexico was the first Hispanic country to join the Association in 1927. They continue to provide much service to members of their communities. Lions from many states in the U.S. have had humanitarian projects in Mexico over the years. A popular project has been recycling eyeglasses and fitting them to residents of Mexico. The Lions of Indiana for many years would collect fire trucks, ambulances and school buses, recondition them and then drive them to Mexico as a caravan and donate them to communities.
Two Ophthalmologists from Davenport, who were brothers, and were educated at a University in Mexico City, would for many years, each spend two weeks in February in Mexico providing free medical service to residents that could not otherwise afford to pay for the care. One doctor would spend the first two weeks checking eyesight and fitting glasses to those that needed them. The second doctor would spend the next two weeks doing surgery for those the first doctor had found that needed surgery to correct eyesight problems. These doctors did this in appreciation for the education they had received in Mexico and for the love they had for the Mexican people.
We have seen the population of Hispanics grow in this country and our local area. The Davenport Host Lions Club is issuing an open invitation Hispanic residents of our area to join our Lions Club. They are welcome to join our club and if enough would like to join, we could even form a Hispanic Lions Club.
Being a member of a Lions Club requires the member to become an active member in the club. In order to provide the charitable services that we do, we also must raise the money to provide those services. Members are expected to also work on fund raising projects. All of the funds raised from the public are spent 100% for charitable projects.
Some of the community service projects our club has done in the past are:
- Provide eyeglasses and exams for those that need assistance.
- Provide used hearing aids from the Lion Hearing Aid Bank.
- Screen youth for eyesight defects through the Iowa Lions KidSight Program.
- Provide cornea transplants through the Iowa Lions Eye Bank.
- Send youths to summer camp.
- Provide college scholarships.
- Food baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas for needy families, also presents for the children at Christmas.
- Contribute to diabetic research and programs.
- Provide training for puppies to become “Guide Dogs.”
If you would like more information about membership in the Davenport Host Lions Club, please contact:
Rita Vargas 563-324-3214
Norm Dean 563-650-8362
Art Matje 563-381-7215
Information about the club is also available at our web site at