Welcome back Lions

 Service clubs have been part of community life for as long as anyone can remember, but in recent years active participation in service clubs has declined in many communities around the country.

Many reasons have been cited for the decline. The two most common: We have busier lives with more demands on our time, and some businesses and industries are less willing to commit the time or, in some cases, the money, for their employees to take part.

So it was heartening to learn that another service club has gotten a start in New Albany. The New Albany Lions Club, which had been organizing since April, got its official charter Oct. 1, after a five or six year hiatus for the club.

The club joins the Rotary, the Kiwanis and the Pilot club as service clubs active in New Albany.

The club, which has been sponsored by the Lions Clubs in Tupelo, starts out with 21 members and meets at noon on the first and third Thursdays of each month at Taylor’s Place. Club dues are $10 a month.

The focus of Lions Clubs International is on providing services to people who are blind or visually impaired. The service program  began when Helen Keller challenged Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness” during the 1925 Lions Clubs International Convention.

The Lions have 1.3 million members in 45,000 clubs in 205 countries and geographic areas.

Lance Presley, an optometrist and president of the new club, said the local club’s main push it to get “eye examinations and eye glasses for those individuals who do not qualify for any other assistance programs.”

Presley said the club already has conducted some vision screenings and had a booth at RiverFest, as well as a greet session in front of Wal-Mart.

We welcome the Lions back to New Albany.