- Published: Sunday, March 23 2014
Their volunteer efforts go beyond the support of vision care, to addressing unmet health and education needs worldwide.
Bonita Springs Lions Club:
On April 16, 1962, in the small fishing community of Bonita Springs in Southwest Florida, with a population of approximately 1,500,
a group of concerned citizens representing the "Greatest Generation" wanted to serve their community in a significant manner. That idea resulted in a generous giving Lions Club of 21 members.
In 1970, the membership made the decision to purchase four lots on Pennsyl¬vania Ave., and in 1975, the Club was offered a donation of a double wide trailer by the local school board and the dream for a
Lions' Thrift Store to serve the community was conceived. The store was opened in 1976 and a new building was constructed in 1978 to accommodate the expanding business. Additions were added in 1995 and again in 1997.
As the years passed and lots became available, we continued to purchase adjoining properties and now own three and one half acres on the corner of Pennsylvania and Indiana Avenues.
The Lions Center was constructed in 1991 and provides an excellent meeting place for our membership, zone and district meetings. The Center is also used for our very popular "pancake breakfast".
This fund raising and social event for the community has continued since 1972. We consistently serve approximately 300 patrons each Saturday during the months of January through March.
In 2007, we sponsored and chartered a Leo Club here in Bonita Springs. These future Lions have proven their value by assisting at eye screenings, Eye Clinic, Pancake Breakfast, Farm Fresh Market, and Thrift Store.
Their bi-lingual language skills have been invaluable as we provide services for the Hispanic population in our community. On May 21, 2007, we dedicated our new Eye Clinic and focused on redirecting ourselves to Helen Keller's challenge to be "Knights of the Blind". Since that time, the Clinic and the dedicated staff have been beacons of hope for those less fortunate members of our community.
The clinic is staffed by volunteer Ophthalmologists as well as Optometrists in conjunction with several private practice groups. Due to the Clinic's overwhelming success, it was decided to expand the Clinic, adding the ability to provide certain surgical services that will further serve the community. This project was rededicated on Friday, February 17, 2012.
As a half-century of time has brought us to this point, we are proud of our accomplishments but look to our future with great optimism.
We consistently support charitable needs in our community, state and worldwide.
The Bonita Springs Lions Club has funded these needs in excess of $275,000 per year for the past ten years and has topped $300,000 several times.
We received special recognition as the number one club in the world for our financial support for the Sight First II project.
We have been honored as a "Model Club" and humbly accept the recogonition and responsibility that accompanies this special acknowledgement.
Our present membership of 140 members responds with enthusiasm to our motto "We Serve". Over eighty percent of our members consistently give volunteer hours of service.
The programs that we support are too numerous to include all of them; however, our distribution of funds focuses on programs that identify needs for the visually impaired.
Educational needs in our local schools and various community projects can count on the Bonita Springs Lions Club to lend a helping hand.
Bonita Springs Lions Club
BONITA SPRINGS, FL 34135
Club Address:10346 Pennsylvania Ave
MD 35 District 35-I Florida USA Club number: 012666
Honored as a World Wide Leader