Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service organization, with over 1.4 million members.
The Lions' Mission
In 1925, Helen Keller challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." Since Ms. Keller’s entreaty almost 100 years ago, Lions have worked on projects designed to prevent blindness, restore eyesight and improve eye health and eye care for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Today, sight programs remain one of the defining causes of Lions Clubs throughout the world. One of these programs is the support of Lions Eye Banks.
A Lions Eye Bank is a not-for-profit organization that:
Operates within established Lions Clubs International Board Policy for the program.
Is sponsored by a Lions club, district or multiple district.
Has an established working relationship with a medical facility.
Complies with government medical and education standards.
May coordinate Lions’ financial assistance for sight-saving corneal transplant surgery.
Lions clubs in Florida
The Lions of Florida and the Bahamas are represented by Lions Clubs International Multiple District 35. Multiple District 35 is subdivided into four geographical districts, one for each letter L, I, O, and N. District L serves the Florida panhandle and northern region of the state, district I serves the gulf coast area, district O serves the north Atlantic coast and central portion of the state, and district N serves south Florida and the Bahamas.
Among the four districts are over 200 individual clubs.
The Multiple District 35 offices are located just south of downtown Orlando in the O district.
History of Bascom Palmer and the Florida Lions Eye Bank
In 1960, two ophthalmologists at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Dr. Edward W.D. Norton and Dr. Victor Curtin, encouraged Florida Lions Clubs to establish the first eye bank in Florida. Legend has it that every Lion in Florida donated $6 to open the Florida Lions Eye Bank in 1962 at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Since its inception, the Lions of Florida have been major supporters of the Florida Lions Eye Bank.