We serve our local community and have a lot of fun doing it. That's why we are one of the biggest Lions Clubs in Michigan. Find out who we are, what we do, and how we do it by attending one of our meetings or events or talking to our members. We invite anyone in the community to become a member or volunteer for one of our events.
Whether you are single, have a young family, or are retired, we could use your help and we have a place for you. Volunteering to help others benefits everyone. As a volunteer there is nothing more enriching than the appreciation from those we help.
Being a Lion can involve whatever time you can give, without pressure. We believe in family, work, then Lions. We have members who take part in every event, and we have some who are too busy to help more than once a year…either way, WE NEED YOUR SKILLS!
There are several ways to join us:
Beginning in June of 1938, meetings were held in the Lake Orion area to discuss and then form the Lake Orion Lions Club. The sponsoring club was the Pontiac Lions Club. On September 21, 1938, the charter from the International Association of Lions Clubs was presented to Albert Frank, the Club’s first President.
Other initial officers of the Club were: Robert A Gehrig, Harry L Randall and Harry Hanson, Vice Presidents; H M Campbell, Secretary; Hoke Williams, Treasurer; Ernest R Crawford, Lion Tamer; Grover C Kelley, Tail Twister; William Russell Lepp, Russell W Porritt, Helmer G Stanback, and Clifford F Vennard, Directors. These men began the legacy of “We Serve”, which continues to direct the activities of the Lake Orion Lions Club. A major emphasis has always been to aid the blind and visually impaired, along with helping those in need in the community.
Looking back through records of past activities reveals a variety of Lions Club activities that were considered newsworthy. Those include the following:
August 25, 1944
Lake Orion Lions Club members are selling white pencils during the week of August 19 to 26. Proceeds will be given to Leader Dogs to provide assistance for soldiers who have been blinded in service to their country.
January 1, 1953
The Goodfellows Newspaper Sale conducted by the Lake Orion Lions on December 13th raised $456.14. The money financed the filling of Christmas boxes and helped provide clothing for needy families. The Lions Club again hosted area children at the annual Christmas party at the State Theatre, and Santa Claus joined in by distributing 450 boxes of candy.
June 14, 1962
Members of the Lake Orion Lions Club sent an American flag and a Certificate of International Appreciation signed by all 48 members of the Club to 117 Lions Clubs all over the world. The Certificate read “The members of the Lake Orion, Michigan Lions Club extend their warmest greetings and sincere wishes to the members of ___________________ and present to them this flag of the United States of America as a token of our friendship and good faith in international understanding through Lionism.
March 17, 1982
The 120 members of the Lake Orion Lions Club received recognition as one of the Top Ten clubs from Lions Clubs International for its service project. Led by President Al Kassin, the Club provided free CPR training to over 1,700 people in the Orion area over a 5-year period.
The Lake Orion Lions Club was again recognized by Lions Clubs International with a second Top Ten Award. This time the award was for the summer camp for blind youth. The kids spent two weeks at Franklin Settlement Camp at the end of August without charge to their families. These blind kids did all the things campers do – they went swimming, took nature hikes, and shot bow and arrows. Started by President Al Kassin, the camp was staffed with mostly volunteers. Supported from the outset by the Lake Orion Lions Club, Bear Lake Camp for blind and visually impaired youth has grown from a two-week camp to one that operates almost year-round with a full-time staff. The camp now has a permanent home on Bear Lake north of Lapeer.
Now Every Christmas
Providing baskets with food for families and gifts for children continues as a community project in the Orion area each Christmas season. Annually about 250 households receive these baskets.