Lions have a dynamic history. Founded in 1917, we are best known for fighting blindness, but we also volunteer for many different kinds of community projects – including caring for the environment, feeding the hungry and aiding seniors and the disabled.
LIONS GIVE SIGHT
By conducting vision screenings, equipping hospitals and clinics, distributing medicine and raising awareness of eye disease, Lions work toward their mission of providing vision for all. We have extended our commitment to sight conservation through countless local efforts and through our international SightFirst Program, which works to eradicate blindness.
The Fort Myers Beach Lions Club uses the money we raise during our local projects, like the annual Shrimp Festival, to benefit those in need in the local community. Our club sponsors every single school nurse in Lee County through the school nurses Sight for Students program. This sponsorship allows the nurses to give students, whose families do not have the means to provide the necessary care, with vouchers for free eye exams and glasses at area doctors.
The program is mandated by the Department of Health to have screenings for children in grades K, 1, 3 & 6. The school nurses screen students with a SPOT vision screener that takes a picture of the students eyes and from that picture they can determine if there any issues with the eyes. With that, they get an initial report that’s printed out immediately, and if any issues arise, they then know if they need to send the student to an ophthalmologist to get a more comprehensive eye exam. From those students that get a referral, the nurses are able to give students, who are unable to get the exam or glasses due financial needs, a voucher that will cover the expenses. This is through the Vision Service Program to refer them out.
In 2018, Lee County school nurses screened 28,235 of the 92,000 students in grades k through 12. Of those screenings, 3,324 students were found to have some sort of vision deficiency, and from those students about 75% had to receive glasses. From that, 20% were serviced and received glasses through a voucher that the Fort Myers Beach Lions Club sponsored. In turn, there were 600-700 students in Lee County that the Fort Myers Beach Lions Club provided a comprehensive eye exam and glasses to. #WeServe
LIONS SERVE YOUTH
Our community projects often support local children and schools through scholarships, recreation and mentoring. Internationally, we offer many programs, including the Peace Poster Contest, Youth Camps and Exchange and Lions Quest.
In 2018, the Fort Myers Beach Lions Club served the local youth by:
- Providing area students with scholarships for college
- Sponsored the Fort Myers Beach Little League
- Sponsored Cypress Lake Athletics Department
- Sponsored Beach Elementary students to attend Bay Oaks Rec Center‘s after school program
- Sponsored the Fort Myers Beach Cub Scouts
- Sponsored Renee’s Closet at Beach Elementary
- Scholarships for each Princess in the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival pageant
- Sponsored the Cypress Lake Lacrosse Team
LIONS AWARD GRANTS
Since 1968, the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) has awarded more than US$700 million in grants to support Lions humanitarian projects around the world. LCIF was also ranked the number one nongovernmental organization in a 2007 study by The Financial Times.
LIONS HELP DURING DISASTERS
Together, our Foundation and Lions are helping communities following natural disasters by providing for immediate needs such as food, water, clothing and medical supplies – and aiding in long-term reconstruction.
LIONS ARE ACTIVE
Our motto is “We Serve.” Lions are part of a global service network, doing whatever is necessary to help our local communities.