Melvin Jones, a Chicago businessmen, found Lions Clubs to improve the community. He suggested to the group Business Circle of Chicago that they reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world.
After contacting similar groups around the United States, an organizational meeting was held on June 7, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The new group took the name of one of the invited groups, the “Association of Lions Clubs,” and a national convention was held in Dallas, Texas, USA in October of that year.
Just three years after our founding, Lions became international when we established the first club in Canada. Mexico followed in 1927. In the 1950s and 1960s international growth accelerated, with new clubs in Europe, Asia and Africa.
In 1928 Las Cruces’ first Lions Club was founded. It is the longest standing club in southern New Mexico.
The Centennial Leos and Zia Middle School Leos clubs were founded with the help of coordinator Lion Philip VanVeen.