The Nashville Lions Club was chartered in May 31, 1938 by a group of civic minded men from Nashville. The club’s primary mission was as “knights of the blind”, the name given to the Lions organization by Helen Keller. The first president was newspaper publisher Ed Schmitt. The first community project undertaken by the club was a fund raiser to purchase 46 acres for the Lions Park which was then donated to the Nashville Park District in 1949. The land where the American Legion Home is sitting was also donated by the Lions.
In 1949 the dub placed the first Christmas lighting in the business district, a project that remains as one of our dub’s civic commitments. The Lions were also promoters of the local hospital and the local golf course. In the past, the club has donated funds to purchase sports uniforms and equipment for the elementary and secondary schools in town, sponsored the Halloween parade and free movie, distributed food baskets to the needy and donated funds for the same, collected used eyeglasses to be used by the needy, sponsored blind and hearing impaired youngsters to the Lion’s “Touch of Nature” camp, purchased eyeglasses for numerous residents in need, sponsored hearing and vision screening units for the community, sponsored student recognition programs like “Simply the Best” and “Dare”, entertained nursing home residents with bingo parties, collected funds to promote sight conservation programs worldwide, donated to diabetes research (a leading cause of sight problems), purchased a scoreboard for the local park, annually donate money to support the summer baseball/softball programs in Memorial Park, annually sponsor two scholarships for high school students, co-sponsor a chili dinner with a high school group, host the N.I.T. hospitality room after the local tournament, donated numerous times to boy and girl scout programs including donations for improvement to the local scout house, co-sponsored the construction of four new signs at the entrances to Nashville, sponsor the local Easter egg hunt, judge and award prizes for local Christmas lighting displays, as well as other smaller projects too numerous to mention.
The Lions annually conduct fund raisers. Among these are sponsoring the local Maifest, manning the pork BBQ stand at the Fall Festival and the concession stand at Memorial Park during the baseball season, conducting the state “Sight and Sound” raffle, a Diabetes Awareness collection and the “Candy Day” collection for sight conservation. The state organization also operates the “Touch of Nature” camp at DuBois during one week in the summer.
The local Lions club has been in existence since 1938 and it has never had one member serve more than one term as president. This indicates that the club is healthy and always has someone to step up into a leadership role.
Many civic organizations have existed in the Nashville area, but we as Lions believe that we have the most vibrant and effective organization in our area and certainly the most enduring.
The Lions motto is “WE SERVE“.
If you are interested in the organization, please contact any Lion about our mission and the commitment that it requires from members.