The Brookings Noon Lions Club ended its fiscal year on June 30, having donated over $13,500 to local and Lions causes during the 2016-17 club year, primarily in the areas of vision, hearing, hunger, youth and environment.
Local recipients included Boys & Girls Club of Brookings, Brookings County Youth Mentoring, Harvest Table, SDSU Food Fight (for food pantry), duffle bags for foster children, Habitat for Humanity, large print calendars for nursing homes and assisted living facilities, Back 2 School, DARE, First Tee Brookings, Eastern SD Science & Engineering Fair, Great After School Place (GAP), HOBY leadership program for high school students, Junior Achievement, National History Day, Ski for Light, BATA and City of Brookings Parks, Recreation and Forestry for planting trees at Lions Park and elsewhere in Brookings.
The club awards an annual scholarship to a Brookings High School senior in the amount of $1,000.00 and provides assistance with the purchase of eyeglasses and hearing aids, which totaled $2,654 for the 16-17 year.
In addition, the club recognizes Junior Citizens from Mickelson Middle School four times during the school year, provides vision screening for kindergarten and preschool children through the KIDSIGHT Program, cleans litter from a section of Highway 14 near Brookings for highway cleanup, and collects used eyeglasses and hearing aids.
The club also donates to Lions organizations in South Dakota, including the School for the Blind, Camp Gilbert near Waubay, for kids from 8-18 with diabetes, South Dakota Lions Foundation and Dakota Lions Sight & Health.
The South Dakota Lions Foundation partners with the Noon Club to provide refurbished hearing aids to local residents and also to provide other specialized care relating to vision or hearing.
Although club donations are primarily at the local and state levels, the club does donate to organizations on the national and international level, including Leader Dog and the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF).
LCIF partners with Habitat for Humanity (former President Jimmy Carter is a Lion) and sponsors World Services for the Blind, Diabetes Prevention Treatment, and Special Olympics Opening Eyes, among other programs. Most of the funding for LCIF comes from Lions members and clubs.
Lions Clubs International, a service membership organization of more than 1.4 million members worldwide, was founded in the United States on June 7, 1917, by Melvin Jones, a Chicago businessman. Jones' personal code was "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else."
The LIONS acronym stands for “Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nations' Safety.” In the early 1920s, this slogan began being used on stationary, billboards and other promotional materials and reflects Lions’ formative years in America during and after World War I.
Brookings Noon Lions Club was chartered July 30, 1951. Fundraising activities include an SDSU ice cream booth during the Brookings Summer Arts Festival, ushering at SDSU basketball games and Swiftel concerts, a Spaghetti Supper and Pie Auction, and White Cane Days.
Recently two club members were elected to statewide board positions. Ron Seeley is on the South Dakota Lions Foundation board of directors and John Ruffolo was elected to Dakota Lions Sight & Health board of directors.