Local Lions Club chapter seeks membership

Published 7:55 pm Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Washington Evening Lions Club is seeking community members to help make a difference in the community.

According to Vince Schimmoller, district governor of the Lions Club, a small club exists in Washington, but its membership has dwindled to about four or five people. The Lions Club is the largest service club organization in the world, with 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs throughout the world. It serves communities in 207 countries and geographical areas around the globe, according to a Lion Club press release.

“We’re trying to build it back into a club that can better serve the community and its needs,” Schimmoller said. “Our primary focus is aiding the blind and visually impaired, but we do a lot of other things regarding serving the community in which they live, as well as doing service projects.”

Schimmoller is unsure about why the local membership has dwindled, but he believes there are enough people interested in civic outreach to help make a difference for the blind and visually impaired in the area, he said. He would like to see the local chapter beef up membership and increase its outreach, and rally behind the club’s cause.

“Helen Keller challenged the Lions Club to help lead the blind out of darkness,” Schimmoller said. “My philosophy is people don’t join organizations to come to meetings. They join for a cause. What that cause is, that’s what they need to be looking at — that would be up to the citizens and members of the club to decide. But I would like to encourage people to come out and learn what we’re all about and see if it’s something that fits their interest and come help us out.”

The club is hosting an informational session tomorrow night for community residents who want to learn more about the club and its work, according to Schimmoller. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Blind Center, 221 N. Harvey St., Washington. Light refreshments will be served.

Tony Keech Jr., president of the Washington Evening Lions Club, encourages the public to attend the meeting and consider joining in the club’s efforts.

“Our club gives members an opportunity to advance worthy causes, serve with friends and become leaders in the community,” Keech Jr. said. “This club means a lot to our Lions, but it means so much more to the people we serve. We want to share the great things we’re doing in the community and let others know how they can help.”

The local chapter has worked with the center to provide assistance to the blind and visually impaired, living up to the Lions’ motto, “We Serve,” according to Schimmoller.

To learn more about the informational session and the Washington Evening Lions Club, contact District Governor Vince Schimmoller at 919-935-9937 or email at vschimmoller@gmail.com.