After 60 years, Lions Club still fighting blindness

The Huntersville Lions Club was founded on Feb. 5, 1951, and chartered on the first of April in that same year. The charter membership consisted of 59 community, government and business leaders of the town of Huntersville.

The club continues to thrive today as it works to serve the community.

The Huntersville Lions Club is part of the world's largest service organization, Lions International. The organization has positioned itself to meet the needs of the growing Huntersville and Lake Norman community by raising funds to help those in need.

The club has several fundraising events each year. During the winter, the club holds a pancake supper, an annual event that has been going on almost as long as the club has. In the spring, club members work at a golf tournament. The club also sells brooms at several local banks and other participating businesses.

In addition to the fundraisers, the club solicits used eyeglasses that are refurbished for distribution in developing and third world countries.

Insurance executive Melvin Jones founded the Lions organization in 1917 in Chicago. In 1925, Helen Keller challenged the Lions to become "Knights of the Blind in the crusade against darkness." The Lions accepted this challenge and, over the years, have become major supporters of the blind and the visually impaired.

The N.C. Lions own and operate Camp Dogwood, which is a recreational facility for blind and visually impaired residents in the state. Lions also support research into the cause, prevention and treatment of blindness and vision loss.

The Huntersville Lions meet on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at 7 p.m. Meetings are held at The Acropolis Cafe & Grille in Cornelius.