Welcome To Our Club Web Site!
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Lions Club International was founded in 1917 in Chicago by businessman Melvin Jones. In 1925, Helen Keller challenged club members to become "Knights of the Blind". Since then, Lions Clubs have been devoted to the preservation of sight and hearing. The Lions also support youth leadership activities.
In July 2007, Lions Club International Foundation was ranked the number one non-governmental organization worldwide. Through its campaign SightFirst I and II, Lions Clubs around the world have raised hundreds of millions of dollars to eradicate preventable blindness throughout the world.
Today, with nearly 1.35 million men and women in more than 200 countries, Lions have expanded their focus to help meet the increasing needs of our society.
Local Lions Clubs have offered its members the opportunity to give something back to their communities.
The Mason City Lions Club was founded on May 12th, 1920. Our service programs include KidSight, formerly known as "Coming To Your Senses", which is a vision screening program conducted throughout the year by Noon Lions volunteers in Mason City preschools and daycares. Since 2002, our club has screened over 5400 young children. Our club also helps low income individuals in the community with eye exams and eyeglasses. In 2009, $1600 was spent in providing 12 individuals with eyeglasses.
The Noon Lions help support Iowa's Camp Hertko Hollow for young children with diabetes.
Community service activities include ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, serving meals at the Community Kitchen, collecting gently used prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses and subnglasses to distribute to developing countries, and providing a popcorn machine for the Muse Norris Youth Softball Complex in Mason City.
Our largets event is the annual chili supper, held in the lobby of the Mason City High School at the last home football game of the season.
As a member of the Noon Lions Club, you will have the ability to make a difference in this community. Our club provides members with project management assistance, leadership training, personal development opportunities and organizing fundraising programs. Being a Lion empowers you to help others in a way that no one person could do alone. Now more than ever, individuals with vision problems, our youth, the disadvantaged, our environment, and our seniors need your help. You can make a difference. By participating in our local Lions Club, you can help meet these pressing needs in our community and around the world.
Lions Clubs are involved in many activities and community services, but one of the most significant services provided is the Iowa KidSight Program.
Iowa KidSight began on a limited basis in 2000. The Mason City Noon Lions Club became involved in 2001 as the program was expanded state wide. Dennis Reidel provided the leadership to get the program started in our club. Initially screening was done with a specially designed Polaroid camera. Screenings were originally scheduled in cooperation with the AEA hearing screening program. John Lundberg assumed leadership of the program for several years. Jane Ginapp is currently providing program leadership.
When Iowa KidSight transitioned to a digital camera system, Jim Clark led an effort to purchase a $10,000 digital camera that significantly improved the screening process. This purchase was also financially supported by the evening Lion's club and other community organizations. Volunteers from both Lions Clubs in Mason City were trained to use the camera to obtain sharp and clear pictures.
In 2013, a law was passed by the Iowa legislature to require vision screening for young children prior to starting kindergarten. This law specifically named Iowa KidSight as an acceptable provider of this service. Iowa KidSight is currently a joint project of the Lions Clubs of Iowa and the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, Department of Ophthalmology. Iowa KidSight targets children from age 6 months to pre-kindergarten. Screening sessions are set up with the local head-start schools, daycares and pre-schools in the fall of the school year. A slightly darkened room is needed so that the child’s eyes will dilate while looking at the flashing red lights on the camera. These pictures are electronically transferred to Iowa City for eye specialists to study and identify vision problems such as near-sightedness, far-sightedness, a difference in the refractive errors between eyes, things inside the eye such as a cataract, muscle imbalance, and astigmatism.
During the 2019/20 school year, Mason City lions screened 546 children. Of this number, 58 were referred to an eye doctor for treatment. The other 488 children did not need a referral; thereby saving their parents the expense of a costly eye exam. This screening provided by the Lions Club and required by law is free. What a great service to the community and to Iowa!
Submitted by John Lundberg and Jane Ginapp
Our meetings are on Wednesdays at noon. The club meets at the HyVee East Club Room, Regency Square Shopping Center on Hwy 122 East, Mason City, IA.
Programs for November 2018
The speakers for November will be as follows:
November 7th: Update on United Way and their new executive director, Jen Arends
November 14th: We will meet in room 117 of the NIACC Pappajohn center, eat lunch there, and then get a tour of the new STEM Center from Shelly Schmit.
November 21st: No meeting, Thanksgiving
November 28th; NICACC 100th year celebration presented by Molly Knoll
Click on "News and Events" for pictures of the new musical playground located near the train engine and Prairie Playground in East Park. The is a memorial to PDG Henry T. Paine, long time Mason City band instructor and Mason City Noon Lions member.
Band Festival 2015