Lions Celebrate 100 Years of Service

Published in: Update - Issue 3 - 2016 »   

Lions Clubs International and Leader Dog

Images of Lions clubs and Leader Dog throughout their history


  • 1917—Melvin Jones tells members of his local business club they should reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world. Jones’ group, the Business Circle of Chicago, agreed.
  • 1925—Helen Keller addresses the Lions Clubs International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio and challenged Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”
  • 1938—Three Lions established Leader Dogs for the Blind to train guide dogs.
  • 1939—The first class graduates four clients and guide dogs.
  • 1951—Leader Dog welcomes PDG Harold “Pock” Pocklington as Executive Director.
  • 1953—Melvin Jones gives Leader Dog his personal endorsement.
  • 1960—Leader Dog holds its first Summer Visits for Michigan Lion Leadership.
  • 1970s – Leader Dog expands Summer Visits to Lion Leadership nationwide.
  • 2002—Lions help Leader Dog reach capital campaign goal for a new residence facility.
  • 2006—Leader Dog President Bill Hansen voted in as International Director for Lions Club International.
  • 2013—A record number of Lions clubs (40) earn Top Dog status for donating $5,000+ to Leader Dogs for the Blind.
  • 2013—LION Magazine lists Leader Dog among the “10 Brilliant Breakthroughs in Service.”
  • 2014—Leader Dog celebrates 75 years of service, having paired over 14,500 guide dogs with people who are blind, visually impaired or Deaf- Blind.
  • 2016—LIONS Magazine counts visiting Leader Dogs’ campus as #31 in their “How Lionistic Are You?” quiz.
  • 2016—Lions helped Leader Dog reach its $14.5 million goal on the largest capital campaign in Leader Dog’s history to renovate the almost 100,000 square foot canine facility.

Congratulations on 100 Years of Service!