The Essex Lions Club was chartered on February 17, 1955, and has been a unique as part of the largest service organization in the world – Lions International. Our motto of “We Serve” and logo of L.I.O.N.S. (Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Safety) have guided us through more than fifty years of service to our community, state, national and international brothers and sisters. Some of our highlights are: ·Over $100,000 donated to Massachusetts Eye Research during our tenure ·Hosting more International Youth Exchange students (from more than a dozen foreign countries) than any other Lions Club in New England up until 1987 ·Hosting our graduating seniors (no matter what school they attended) for over 30 years at our annual Recognition/Involvement Dinner ·Opening the eyes of the community to the potential of Centennial Grove on Chebacco Lake by cleaning up the former Girl Scout camp, running lake events (Water ski shows, beauty pageants, etc.), and sponsoring softball games with the fire and police teams of neighboring towns ·Developing and completing the “Shipbuilders’ Monument”, a $55,000 physical labor of love that symbolizes the town’s history in shipbuilding ·Participating by labor and giving the largest individual monetary donation to the community’s outstanding playground (The Eagle’s Nest) ·Being the institutional sponsor of our local Boy Scout chapter (We have purchased land, sports equipment, uniforms, summer camp scholarships, Eagle Scout necessities, etc. as well as refurbishing the roof of the Scout House) ·Purchasing audio-visual equipment (TVs, VCRs, projection equipment, etc.) for the Essex school ·Purchasing equipment (mats, uniforms, etc.) for an inaugural gymnastics program at the school ·Purchasing uniforms and equipment for the beginning of the first ice hockey program in the town ·Hosting for many years an annual “Candidates Night” – an opportunity to give the community more informed choices in town government. This was accomplished through introductions, questions from the public, answers from the annual town official aspirants and publicity through the media. ·Building and placing benches around town that overlook some of the beauties of the community ·Building and placing signs for some of our key town institutions i.e. town library, senior citizen housing, etc. and refurbishing the entrance lights to the Town Hall ·Annually keeping a two-mile stretch of Route 133 trash-free ·Donating our labor and money for individual home improvements ·Purchasing eye glasses, hearing aids, wheelchairs, ramps, and other “helping aids” for needy students and other citizens ·Being deeply involved in an annual Easter Egg Hunt for our youth and donating to many other local endeavors ·Creating a “House of Horror” at the local school to entertain our younger citizens at Halloween ·Donating funds for equipment and books to our local library ·Innovating the first “Turkey Trot” road race for charity and continuing its annual successful officially sanctioned 10K status for over 30 years ·Major contributor to the “Field of Dreams” ·Major contributor to the school’s outdoor basketball facility · The Essex Lions Club has also contributed personally and financially to Lions Club International Massachusetts 33N programs, including the following: ·All-State Band ·Diabetes Awareness ·Recycled eyeglasses ·Eye Mobile ·Guide Dog Foundation ·Hearing and speech ·Eye memorials ·Journey for Sight ·Lazarus ·Leadership development ·LCIF (Many thousands of dollars to relief endeavors) ·Officers’ training courses ·Toys for Tots ·Walk-a-Thon ·Youth Exchange ·Youth speech competition As our club has passed the 50-year milestone, we continue to serve.