Lions Clubs were founded June 7, 1917, by Chicago businessman Melvin Jones.
The first convention followed in October, held in Dallas, Texas where our initial constitution, by-laws and code of ethics were approved. In 1920, the first Lions Club in Canada was established and thus we became an international organization.
The Delavan Lions Club was chartered in 1938 when 20 local businessmen sat down and decided to start a service and community oriented club with ties to a growing international organization. The most noteworthy Charter member of our club was Lion Dr. (Doc) J.A. Carroll. An active member of the Delavan Lions Club until his passing in 2003, he provided our club and extended community with a love for Lionism and 65 years of dedicated service.
We have very strong roots and plenty of room to grow. We are very proud to be an active and vital part of the largest service organization in the world.
What is important to us now?
In 1925, Helen Keller addressed the Lions International Convention in Ohio and challenged members to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”
Taking up this challenge, the Delavan Lions Club has many service-oriented goals, which include: service to the blind and hearing impaired, collecting used eyeglasses and hearing aides for redistribution, providing glasses and hearing aides to the disadvantaged, and supporting our Leader Dog and Wisconsin Eye Bank programs. These continue to be major philanthropies of our organization.
Our club also strongly supports the year-round and highly-regarded Wisconsin Lions Camp for disabled and special needs youth and adults. We provide financial support for the Delavan Arboretum and local Park and Recreation initiatives. The Lions picnic shelter at Veteran’s Park is one noteworthy example. We also provide $1,000 scholarships to four deserving students at Delavan-Darien High School and one at Wisconsin School for the Deaf each year. We support young adults through our local Leo Chapter as well as international youth exchanges. We have been involved in Habitat for Humanity and disaster relief around the world. Each year, the club also sponsors a team for the Walworth County Relay For Life walk for the American Cancer Society.
We are an active club that has fun providing wonderful service to others locally and beyond.