A Look Back at Women In Lions

It’s been said that “necessity is the mother of invention” yet often when a movement for social cause breaks new ground it is accomplished in the spirit of equality or fairness. Think Women’s Suffrage or the Civil Rights Movement and scores of stories of heroism and self-sacrifice come to mind.

Remembering when women broke down the “Boys Club” door of men-only Lions Clubs back in the 1980’s, I wonder, did you know that it was Portland’s Lloyd Lions Club that first welcomed women to their ranks? Did you ever wonder if the Lloyd Lions were inspired by female protesters, did they succumb to local protests and rallies by members of the fairer sex?

“Well, it really came down to a numbers issue” says Portland Lloyd Lion Morgan Dickerson. “We simply needed the members to stay active.”

In October 1981, the Oregonian newspaper reports on the Lloyd Lions Club losing its charter for inducting women.

In October 1981, the Oregonian newspaper reports on the Lloyd Lions Club losing its charter for inducting women.

Still, being the first Lions Club in the world to admit women didn’t come without a fight. For admitting women into their Lions Club, Lions Clubs International (LCI) voted unanimously in 1981 to cancel the charter of the Lloyd Lions Club at their annual meeting in Taiwan. The Lloyd Lions appealed the decision and eventually won the right to admit women by taking the case all the way to the Oregon Supreme Court. That decision paved the way for women to join Lions Clubs throughout Oregon and eventually the world.

One of the original women that joined the Lloyd Lions in the early 80’s is still a member today. Helen Honse – then Helen Greenough – had traveled as a college student to Africa as part of an effort to promote better understanding between Americans and Africans, remembers the situation this way:

“When we came back to the States, part of our obligation was to speak to 50 different service groups. That is how I got introduced to the Lions as well as the Kiwanis, and Rotary. So when [I was] invited to join, I remember remarking…that I didn’t think the Lions took women. I only found out differently once I got to the meeting! I wouldn’t have accepted the invitation if I didn’t believe in the mission. But then when I heard what the actual situation was, I decided it was the right thing to do to go ahead and join even though a fight was looming.”

According to Morgan – who continues to be very active in the Lloyd Lions – even though the fight was on with LCI, admitting women wasn’t very controversial in his own Club. “All of our members were open to women joining. The culture of our club did change a bit, and it allowed us to do more good. If you look at Lions Clubs today, there are some Clubs that are almost entirely women. It [allowing women to join] helped us, but it literally saved others Lions Clubs.”

Not only did admitting women into Lions save many clubs, it preserved the level of service in those communities. It’s hard to imagine what some Lions Clubs in Oregon would be like without their women members, and thanks to people like Helen and Morgan, we don’t have to.


Doug will continue to share more information and stories of women joining Lions in his future blogs. If you have a story you’d like to share with Doug, please contact him at Dougt@olshf.org or phone him at (503) 413-8385.

Only YOU know if the new tax laws will hurt nonprofits

As someone who works for a nonprofit organization, a question that I get fairly often is “What impact will the new tax laws have on nonprofits?”

It’s an excellent question and quite honestly it isn’t an easy one to answer. Before I do, here’s a little background first. Congress passed the 2018 Tax Reform Act, the largest piece of tax reform legislation in three decades and it will impact the tax return that most people will complete for the 2018 tax year.

A couple of the key provisions of the new tax laws that pertain to individuals are as follows:

  1. The standard deduction doubled from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals, and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples.
  2. The charitable contribution deduction limit rose from 50% to 60% of an individual’s adjusted gross income

So, with a higher standard deduction, it’s natural to assume that far fewer Americans will itemize their taxes, leading to speculation that fewer taxpayers will make charitable donations for the purpose of gaining tax breaks. No formal studies have been conducted to predict the actual impact of doubling the standard deduction but it’s probably safe to say that those motivated by tax breaks will decrease – or even eliminate – their charitable contributions.

The key phrase is “those motivated by tax breaks”. For sure, some charitable donors use tax breaks as an incentive, but I believe that most of our supporters at the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation give for these reasons:

These are only some of the reasons that people give to OLSHF and I don’t believe that new tax laws will change how people feel or why they want to help. With the end of the calendar/tax year looming, only you can decide what motivates you to support OLSHF or other charities of your choice, and I hope you’ll be guided by your heart, not the new IRS tax code.

OLSHF Hits Amazing Milestone!


Certain milestones in life can mean different things, such as longevity of a relationship (An anniversary) or risk management (300 days without an accident!) to name a few.

And then there are milestones of accomplishment, such as 700 Home Runs in baseball or 100 years living on this earth (Wow!).

Last fall, the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation hit a milestone of accomplishment that we’re proud of and pleased to share you. On October 17th at Kalmiopsis Elementary School in Brookings, OLSHF Staff member Tim Young and the Brookings Harbor Lions screened 713 students for vision health issues. When they screened Kindergartener Liam Christensen, OLSHF and Oregon Lions hit 1,000,000 students screened for vision health issues since our program began in the 1990’s.

Hitting 1 million children screened for vision health issues wasn’t the only highlight of the OLSHF 2017-18 program year. Making nearly 2,500 pair of new eyeglasses, providing over 200 people in need with hearing exams and hearing aids, collecting over 200,000 pair of used eyeglasses, and celebrating one year of our new retail optical shop, Eye Promise, are some of the other highlights that took place in the past 12 months.

You can relive these accomplishments – or learn about them for the first time – by checking out the OLSHF 2017-18 Annual Report!

Our Cover Story will introduce you to all of our school vision screening Coordinators around the State of Oregon, together they visited 617 schools and screened 182,094 students, referring 18,209 of them for comprehensive eye exams. These are children that likely should be seeing better and with new eyeglasses will have a better chance and seeing, reading, and learning to their full potential.

Now that’s something to celebrate!

You’ll also find info on OLSHF revenue and expenses, we list our amazing sight and hearing partners and our donors that we appreciate so much, and we also feature members of the OLSHF Hall of Fame – an amazing group of Lions that have helped make the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation the incredible organization that it is.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to open this beautiful document, flip through the pages, and share our pride in the accomplishments of our amazing organization.