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Troy Lions Club celebrates charter night

The Troy Lions Club is officially chartered, with founding members and officers signing the club charter during a ceremony at Troy University Tuesday night.

The Lions Club has already hosted meetings and provided free visions screenings in the community over the past few months, but the signing of the charter officially establishes the club’s presence in Troy.

Together we can make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate, and in our own lives,” said Dr. Shanna May, who was officially installed as president of the local club. “I feel like we can come together and make a difference in this community.”

A total of 33 men and women came forward to sign the charter and establish the club, and officers were installed.

Keynote speaker Jerome Thompson, past president of Lions Clubs International and current chair of the Global Action Team of constitutional area one, compared the focus of lions club to his two favorite parts of elementary school – recess and lunch.

“At recess, there were always those kids who sat under the trees – I was never one of those kids,” Thompson said. “The ones playing tag football or running around, that’s where I was. And that’s what you need to do in Lions Club – be active. Have fun and be loud, it will help.”

And Thompson said what he enjoyed about lunch most was his lunch lady.

“She always knew what was going on with me, she made me feel special,” Thompson said.

Lions should serve in the same way, Thompson said, being the “lunch ladies” of the community.

During the diner portion of the ceremony, the new Lions took a moment to don blindfolds, as they listened to the words Helen Keller spoke to the club in 1925.

“Try to imagine how you would feel if you were suddenly stricken blind today,” rang Keller’s voice through the room, as lions and guests sat with blindfolds on. “Picture yourself stumbling and groping at noonday as in the night; your work, your independence, gone. In that dark world wouldn’t you be glad if a friend took you by the hand and said, ‘Come with me and I will teach you how to do some of the things you used to do when you could see?’ … Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided? I appeal to you Lions, you who have your sight, your hearing, you who are strong and brave and kind. Will you not constitute yourselves Knights of the Blind in this crusade against darkness?”

And that’s exactly what the new members plan to do, already providing multiple free visions screenings in the community with many more to come.

Thompson said it witnessing the impact Lions Club has on people is an inspiration to be involved in the club.