Visalia Breakfast Lions club was chartered March 12, 1959 and was sponsored by the Visalia Host Lions club. Since that time, we have had 52 presidents. Of that number, 26 past presidents are still attending meetings on a regular basis.
This has always been an active club that continues to enjoy a number of activities, such as one of the largest golf tournaments in the valley, The Downtown Visalia Car Show, and our fireworks booth. Our nearly authentic (on the outside) Chuck Wagon is well known for it’s appearance at most of the organizational fund raisers in the community where our members prepare breakfast on the spot to aid the various charitable events.
Only through the commitment and participation of the membership have these activities been successful. The monies derived from these events are being spent to help and assist those less fortunate in the community. We annually give away thousands of dollars in scholarships and support for youth groups that ultimately contribute to the growth and well being of our community. We are proud to display our Sleepy Lions Logo that symbolizes our early morning meetings 48 Fridays throughout the year.
History of Lionism
Lionism had its start in Chicago, Illinois on June 17, 1917 when a young Chicago Insurance man named Melvin Jones founded the association. Service to the community and assistance to the less fortunate were established as the objectives of Lions International, which differed from other men’s groups of the day which were devoted primarily to promoting the business interest of their membership.
Civic-minded men across the United States concurred and Lions Clubs multiplied rapidly. The service movement spread to Canada in 1920 and to China and Mexico in 1927, when the membership stood at 60,000 with 1,183 active clubs. Panama became the first Central American nation to have a Lions club, and the following year, the first South American club was organized in Columbia.
Lionism reached Europe in 1948 when clubs were originated in Sweden, Switzerland, and France. Today, Lions International is truly global in scope with all nations and geographic areas hosting Lions clubs. Lions International is the world’s largest service club organization and the first ever to have achieved one million members. As of 2010 there were 1,374,425 members. Lions in more than 45,000 clubs and in all 195 recognized countries in the world participate in service efforts spanning the globe. The fellowship and goodwill arising from their service to others makes the International Association of Lions Clubs a natural catalyst for international friendship and understanding among people everywhere.