1917 – The Association of Lions Clubs brings together numerous business clubs to do philanthropic work in their home communities. Melvin Jones is the moving force behind the amalgamation of these various clubs under one umbrella.
1920 – The Association of Lions Clubs becomes an international organization with the chartering of the first club outside the United States. This club was called the Border City Lions Club and was situated in Windsor Ontario. The sponsoring club was the Detroit Lions club. This first club in Canada is now called the Windsor Downtown Lions Club.
1925 – International President, Harry Newman, from Claremont, Ontario invites Helen Keller to the International Convention. She asks the Lions to be “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness”, and so begins Lions Clubs International’s commitment to provide sight/vision services for people world wide.
1954 – The Lions’ motto “We Serve” is established by a contest in which Lions Clubs around the world submitted entries. The winning entry came from a club in Ontario, Canada.
1957 – The first LEO Club was established for children 12 – 18 years of age.
1968 – Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) was formed to be the philanthropic wing of the Association. It’s purpose was, and is, to provide funds for Lions Clubs to do bigger service projects in their communities than they could usually afford to do in their communities, by supplying grants.
1987 – Women are invited to become members of their local Lions Clubs. Lions was the first International service organization to do so.
1989 – The first year of our International Peace Poster contest.
1990 – Lions Clubs International launches Site First Campaign to raise money to supply resources and services to combat preventable blindness. The target of the campaign was $150 million dollars. The campaign concluded having raised more than $200 million.
2005 – Lions Clubs International launches Campaign SightFirst 2 to continue to raise funds for global vision initiatives.
2014 – Lions launch the Centennial Service Challenge, a global initiative to serve 100 million people around the world within three years leading up to Lions Centennial celebration.
2017 – Lions Clubs International celebrates their 100th anniversary and first century of service.
2017 – Lions Clubs International establishes it’s Five Global Causes; vision, hunger, the environment, diabetes, and childhood cancer.
2018 – Lions Clubs International celebrates its 50th anniversary! At this time the Foundation has given away more than 1 billion U.S. dollars.
2020 – Canadian Lions celebrate their 100 years as part of Lions Clubs International. Each club is asked to plant trees so that Canadian Lions will have planted more than 100,000 trees before the end of 2021. Each Lions District is asked to put together one significant project. Each District can receive a matching grant of up to $6,500.00 to carry out their official Canada 2020 project.