By Jasmine Haroun

A new Lions Club will be forming in the FishHawk Ranch area. Lions Club is in an international service organization whose mission since 1917 has been to change lives and leave a lasting impact on the world. The club has five main areas of service: diabetes, environment, hunger, childhood cancer and vision.

Lions Club International is made up of about 1.5 million men and women in over 210 countries and has just celebrated its 102nd anniversary. Recently, the global membership team worked together to canvas local businesses, and because of FishHawk’s geographic area and rapid growth, it decided to form its new chapter in this area.

This new club will be part of district 35-I, which currently has 48 clubs and approximately 1,250 members. Lions Clubs serve their community in many ways. Some of the activities performed by other chapters include, but are not limited to, collecting supplies for disaster relief, Adopt-a-Highway, vision screenings and food drives.

The club will decide what types of service projects it will perform by conducting a community needs assessment. This survey of community leaders will pinpoint where the greatest needs lie.

Twenty members are needed in order to charter the club. The club will be organized through meetings held at Grace United Methodist Church. The Lions Club is searching for any service-minded individuals (man and woman) over the age of 18 to join. There is a one-time $35 initiation fee and then annual dues of $90 to $100, which works out to be less than $2 a week. Attendance at meetings is not required; however, participation in club service activities is strongly encouraged.

The new club, once formed, will choose its own officers while a certified Guiding Lion will work with the new club for two years to ensure their success. Most club meetings are an hour long and it is recommended that clubs meet at least twice a month, but it can vary from one to four meetings a month depending on what the club decides. Some clubs can choose to meet electronically and may only get together for actual service projects.

“I will be celebrating my 45th year as a Lion member. I am proud to carry on my father’s legacy,” said Blair Kunka, who will become a second-generation district governor for the Lions Club next year.

The first regular meeting will be held at the Grace Community United Methodist Church located at 5708 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. on Wednesday, November 6 at 7 p.m. For more information contact Lion Tim Foreman at tampatim@juno.com.