Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 28

Helping
HANDS
Georgia's service clubs provide
opportunities to eff ect positive change
By Amber Lanier Nagle
Marlene Humphry (in red) and members of the Byron Lions Club
met other Lions Club members from around the state at the Lions
of Georgia State Convention in 2019 at Callaway Resort & Gardens.
T
ravelers on Georgia's scenic highways
and byways may notice signs showcasing
an array of colorful medallions-logos
representing the local Lions, Rotary,
Kiwanis, Civitan, Optimist and other
service clubs.
Service clubs are not-for-profit organizations composed
of members who meet regularly, discuss issues affecting the
communities they serve and plan service projects. Service and
civic-club meetings and events once were the places people
went to mix and mingle with the movers and shakers of
communities. Many folks joined for business-networking
purposes, while others got involved because of service clubs'
abundant social and volunteer opportunities.
Service-club membership has declined steadily since the
1990s, and participation is at an all-time low, especially among
young professionals. But these organizations are still relevant
and remain the glue that holds Georgia communities together.
A pride of Lions in Byron
The Lions Club began in 1917, when a 38-year-old Chicago
business leader suggested that the members of his local
business club roll up their sleeves and take on projects that
would improve their neighborhood and beyond. The Lions
roared into Georgia in 1920 with the founding of the Atlanta
Lions Club.
Like many other service clubs, Lions Clubs were exclusively
for men-specifically businessmen-with separate auxiliary
programs for women called " Lionesses. " Then in 1987, the
organization lifted its ban on female members and fused the
two groups.
" It's pretty simple: Lions serve, " says Marlene Humphry
with the Byron Lions Club, a small group with 24 active
28 Georgia Magazine January 2023
members. " Today's Lions Clubs are mission-driven. "
Georgia's 200 Lions Clubs volunteers work tirelessly to save
sight, fight diabetes, protect the environment, battle childhood
cancer and feed and care for the most fragile individuals of
communities. And though most Lions Club rosters are small,
their impact is great.
" In 1925, Lions became motivated to serve the blind and
visually impaired after [disability-rights advocate] Helen Keller
addressed the international convention and charged the Lions
there to be 'knights of the blind,' " says Humphry, who served as
council chair for Lions of Georgia two years ago. " Vision is still
the priority for us. We've conducted vision and hearing screenings
at health fairs and local elementary and middle schools,
and we also work to help individuals in need get the [visionrelated]
surgeries and procedures needed through the Georgia
Lions Lighthouse Foundation. "
The Byron club also sponsors two local Scout troops (boys
and girls) and encourages Eagle Scouts with certificates of
achievement and small monetary contributions. It also has
adopted families in need during the holidays.
" To get things done, we must raise money, " Humphry says.
" We host an annual turkey shoot, sell poinsettias in December,
sell hanging baskets [of flowers] in the spring and sell calendars.
The proceeds help us help others. "
The club meets the first and third Thursdays of each
month at different locations around Byron. Members also host
a pancake breakfast, sell memorials for the community's
memorial Love-Light Tree and peddle brooms and mops at a
booth in Byron's Big Peach Antiques Mall.
" Our club is a place where individuals join together, help
others and improve our community, " she says. " It's meaningful
work, and, most of all, it's a lot of fun to work together for the
causes important to us. "
BYRON LIONS CLUB

Georgia Magazine - January 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - January 2023

Contents
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 4
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 5
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 6
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 7
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 8
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 9
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 10
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 11
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 12
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 13
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 14
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 15
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 16
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 17
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 18
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 19
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 20
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 21
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 22
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 22A
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 22B
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 22C
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 22D
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 23
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 24
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 25
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 26
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 27
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 28
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 29
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 30
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 31
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 32
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 33
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 34
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 35
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Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 37
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Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 41
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - 42
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - January 2023 - Cover4
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