Photos by Libby Rogers
Currently at the helm is local business owner Jeannie White, who got involved with the club six years ago in order to give back to the community. “This club has always been community-oriented,” White said. “We still have some members that have been with the club 45 years.”
According to the club’s website, Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization, with more than 1.3 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world. Lions are men and women who volunteer their time to humanitarian causes. Founded in 1917, the association’s motto is “We Serve.” We meet the needs of our local communities and the world: conducting vision and health screenings, building parks, supporting eye hospitals, awarding scholarships, assisting youth, providing help in the time of disaster, and much more.
“The Huntsville Lions Club supports fellow citizens whose lives we can positively affect. We are always looking for new challenges, as we are a progressive club. We welcome visitors, be they other Lions, interested citizens or potential Lions members,” the website states.
Internationally, the club’s mission is to collect used eyeglasses and assist people of all ages, who cannot afford to, in getting proper eyewear, as well as building parks, supporting youth and providing assistance in times of disaster.
“We work with Dr. Steven Black, who in turn works with patients, who may not know they are eligible for insurance coverages,” White said. “We do a lot,” she said. “We take civic pride seriously, and we doa lot of projects. I find that rewarding.”
There is a plateful of projects in the Huntsville Lions Club orbit; in2019 alone, the club’s members:
One success story White is especially fond of involves a child with diabetes. “She had never been far away from home because her mom had to give her insulin injections,” White said. “She went to camp for that week, and when she returned, she was able to do her own injections, because (the camp counselors) taught her how to do it. There are doctors and nurses at the camp 24 hours per day, she said. “It made her more independent, so now she can go and spend the night with friends and not worry about her medication, because she can handle it herself,” White said.
The camp itself was the reason behind White’s involvement withLions. “My oldest son was a sponsor at the camp for two years, and that’s when I learned about Lions Club,” she said. “(When we opened the business) here, Liesa Hackett became my sponsor.”
What makes the time spent worthwhile forWhite, though, is hearing the stories and the remarks of the children who attend the annual camp, and she says it’s a good feeling to join a club and get involved. “If you want to work in a community, we’ll find you a place,” she said.“Be serious, and help where it’s needed. I love this community.”
To become a member of the Lions Club, contact White at 936-755-3811 or Vice President Larry Graves at 936-291-7300.
White said prospective members can fill out an application at any of the weekly meetings; there is a $25 application fee, and members pay $40 per month per family. All funds raised go right back to the community, not toward club necessities, which White said was one of the things she admires about Lions.