The Lions Club first began in 1917 with a mission to empower Lions clubs, volunteers and partners to improve health and well-being. It also wanted to strengthen communities and support those in need through humanitarian services and grants that impact lives globally while encouraging peace and international understanding. Lions strive to be global leaders in community and humanitarian services.
“The Lions clubs are for anyone who is service minded, basically for people who just want to help others but don’t know where to start,” said LaTonyia Roberson, membership chair for the Fishhawk Lions Club. “Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest nonprofit service organization, made up of nearly 1.5 million men and women in over 200 countries. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. Its missions include diabetes, hunger, environment and childhood cancer.”
The Fishhawk Lions Club recently celebrated becoming an official charter of the Lions Club organization.
“It feels amazing,” said Roberson. “This club started as an idea in a library. We wanted to make a difference in our community and wanted to find good people who like to serve to help us. It took some time, but the right people answered the call. These people have pure, full hearts and love helping people. Sometimes, I can’t believe it. If there are any other like-minded individuals, this club is for you. Come serve and have fun doing it.”
During the charter ceremonies, the members of the newly chartered Fishhawk Lions Club were presented with their official charter. Members of the Brandon Lions Club, who sponsored the formation of the Fishhawk Lions Club, and numerous other members representing clubs as far away as Arcadia, Fort Myers and Sanibel were on hand to congratulate members of the new club.
Although only recently chartered, for the past three years the Fishhawk Lions Club has been actively supporting and assisting the Lithia, Riverview and Valrico communities, including providing masks during COVID-19 to numerous groups and facilities, supporting local food banks and shelters as well as instituting and supporting various grassroots activities, such as luggage and shoe drives.
“Our members worked hard and stuck together during some difficult times, which makes the chartering of the Fishhawk Lions Club even more significant and shows that we will be here for the community for many years,” said Fishhawk Lions Club President Jack Bello. “This achievement was a complete group effort by our members.”