The High Point Lions Club has a rich and productive heritage of serving and helping the community. Since 1929, the members of the club have consistently comprised of service minded men and women who are interested in using their talents and skills from all walk of life to improve their community with unmatched integrity and energy. This group of individuals have evolved to become diverse because they want to help provide whatever service is needed for EVERYONE.
We started on November 5, 1929 which was the application date for charter of the High Point Lions Club from Lions Club International. We received our official charter on February 24, 1930. On this date, we had twenty-four (24) membership of which three (3) were charter members. These men were Lion George Johnson, Lion L. A. Welch and Lion Paul Williamson. The first president of the High Point Lions Club was Lion J.L. Woolen who served from 1929-1931. The early meetings were held at the Elwood Hotel in High Point, North Carolina from 1930 to 1940. During this 1930s, the membership increased very little because of the 1929 Stock Market Crash that caused the Great Depression that lasted well into the late 1930s. In 1940, it was assumed that the economy had stabilized enough for the High Point Lions Club to try and increase the membership so it was decided that the venue for club meetings would be the then new Sheraton Hotel located on North Main Street in High Point, North Carolina. With the United States entering World War II in 1941, membership in the club stayed stagnant until the war was over in. 1945. Luckily we had very determined men who were optimistic about the future of the High Point Lions Club and wanted to make sure that Lionism was alive and well. In1944, the High Point Lions Club sponsored and help coordinate the formation the Asheboro Lions Club located in Asheboro, North Carolina. The first president of this new Lions Club was Lion James Lane.
After World War II, membership increased dramatically during the 1950s and 1960s to over 125 members. Because of this insurgency in members, we were able to really do the work that needed to be done and truly become, as Helen Keller called the Lions, the “Knights for the Blind”. Our primary focus was, and still is, sight preservation and the prevention of blindness. We did service projects which included helping blind and visually impaired individuals by helping them acquire white canes, getting special glasses for those who could use them, and other necessities. In order to fund these services, the High Point Lions Club had fundraisers. Some examples are but limited to:
Sponsoring the High Point Horse Show that was started in 1943
Installing and maintaining gum ball machines
Selling mints and candies in the local stores
Selling brooms made by blind and visually impaired individuals
Parking cars for visitors of the International Furniture Market
Under the leadership of the club presidents during this period in our history, much success was achieved in the High Point community. By 1951, the meetings for the High Point Lions Club had moved from the Sheraton Hotel to the Sky Room at the International Furniture Market Building in downtown High Point. In 1953, High Point Lions Club sponsored and helped in the formation of another Lions Club that was based in High Point also. The name of this Lions Club was called the Oak Hollow Lions Club. The first president of three Oak Hollow Lions Club was Lion Ray Willard. In 2010, a merger was proposed between Oak Hollow Lions Club and High Point Lions Club. The merger was approved by Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) and High Point Lions Club received the Certificate of Merger which was dated September 30, 2010.
Between the late 1960s and the early 2000s, the membership of the High Point Lions Club declined dramatically and by 2010, the membership had only forty-four (44) members and, as of today, it is less than that. We truly believe that there are good upstanding people who have a passion for volunteering and making a difference in their community. Would you consider becoming a Lion? Look at some of the advantages of being a Lion on the “Advantages” page and think about it. Come to a meeting to see what it is all about. We meet at Tex & Shirley's every first and third Thursday of the month. We would LOVE to have you!