Today’s Welcome to Sanford Business of the Week is the Sanford Lions Club. The Sanford Lions club has been an important supporter of the Sanford community since the 20 members came together to organize the club in 1935.
The Lions Clubs International organization was first established in 1917 in Chicago, Illinois by Melvin Jones. While the Lions Clubs began as a single club dedicated to serving the local community, as of 2020 the organization has grown to have more than 1.4 million members in over 46,000 clubs across more than 200 countries. As one of the largest clubs in North Carolina, the Sanford Lions Club has sponsored clubs in Pittsboro, Apex, Biscoe, Siler City, Aberdeen, and more!
While they are best known for the annual Lee Regional Fair, which they have hosted for over 80 years, the Sanford Lions club also supports the community in many other ways. One of the most important causes to the Sanford Lions Club, and Lions Clubs around the world, is serving people who are visually impaired, and preventing avoidable blindness. Since 2000, the Sanford Lions have worked with Lee County Schools to screen the vision of thousands of children and students each year. Over 40 Sanford Lions are thoroughly trained and certified to perform these vision screenings. The Sanford Lions Club also runs the Vision Van, providing Sanford citizens with free vision screenings for two full days each year.
The Sanford Lions Club also support the community financially, providing scholarships to students attending community college and university and contributing to the Boys and Girls Home
While the 2020 Lee Regional Fair was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sanford Lions Club is already hard at work planning the 2021 fair, which is scheduled for September 14 through September 19, 2021. The Lions grounds and facilities are also used to serve the community through free use of their multiple baseball and soccer fields, as well as holding events such as the Adcock October Outdoor Movie Series or the annual “Relay for Life” cancer research fundraiser.
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