Chartered in Ponce Inlet on May 28, 1992 with 25 members (currently we have 50 members).
Club resides in Florida Lions District 35-0, Region 3 which has 3 Zones (7, 8, 9). Our club is in Zone 8 along with 5 other clubs. It is the largest club in the Region 3. It has the normal officer structure (President, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Chairs, 1st and 2nd VP’s and 1, 2 & 3 year directors) as other Lions clubs in the District. Also, like all Lions clubs, the Board of Directors is held solely responsible for managing the Club under the written Club Constitution and By Laws which are available to all members.
Club Meetings: The membership meetings are held on the 1st Wednesday of the month starting with a social (wine & beer period at 5; 30 pm to 6:15 pm followed by the dinner and the meeting. The meetings in June and December are special meetings for new officer installation and a Xmas gala. Board meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month starting at 5:30pm at the PICC Board room and end at around 7pm. All Board meetings are open to all membership (nonvoting).
Zone/District Meetings: Our Zone 8 has 3 Zone meetings a year plus there are 4 to 6 District/Cabinet/other Zone meetings per year that are provided for officers training, new ideas and administrative or operational initiatives.
The Club is in a very stable financial position. The Admin account (club expenses only) usually operates within a $15,000 annual budget and the Activities account (fundraisers and giving to our charities) operates within a $31,000 budget. We also have a unique nonprofit entity called the Ponce Inlet Foundation Fund. This fund was established from multiple Club resources and serves to provide contributions to the Ponce Inlet Lions Club on occasions only as needed. We sometimes use money from the Fund and consider it to be available only in emergency situations/disasters or to support Club Projects. Examples are the $10,000 contribution towards the purchase of a service dog in 2015, the transfer of $4500 for the same cause in 2016 and several Melvin Jones contributions to the Lions international Foundation in prior years to help with the Katrina Hurricane recovery. This Fund balance is usually over $100,000 and can be a great way to honor some great Lion and provide legacy for helping less fortunate others going forward.
We are a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization and, as such, 100 % of all funds we raise go to causes/charities. For the past 7 years, our main fundraising events were geared to purchasing a service dog for a disabled veteran from Southeastern Guide Dogs. To date, we have purchased 6 dogs, 5 of which are with veterans and there is 1 puppy in training. The 3 major fundraisers we have done in each are: Barktoberfest (October), Western Night (January) and a public fish fry at Inlet Harbor restaurant (April). Other (smaller) fundraisers include 3 “White Canes” events at Publix/Walmart store locations, restaurants that give us 10% of all nightly receipts, pancake breakfasts, food/beverage sales at the Park for Corvette Club/Xmas parade and various Town functions. We also get small donations from just about every event we do.
Of course, Southeastern Guide Dogs (other than service dogs purchase). Halifax Urban Ministries (homeless family/children support), Conklin Center (teaching the blind to live in the real world), Florida Foundation for the Blind, District 35-0 diabetes, Hearing, Project Right to Sight projects, LCIF/ Melvin Jones grants, P.I. Veterans Memorial, Blind Talking Library, Florida Lions Diabetic Camp and Longstreet Elementary School. We have helped the school by buying them mobile computers to support Florida’s digital education requirements, Spring break food drive for needy kids, starting a food pantry for 12 indigent families and getting their 5th graders involved in the Lions Peace Poster contest.
The Club is big into providing the Region with Lions diabetes certification (and recertification) education/training and conducting diabetes testing/retinal screening at the big local events like Port Orange Families and One Voice for Volusia heath Care Summit at Ocean Center, eye examinations, eye assistance to needy people, collecting and recycling glasses, hearing aids, Big food drives for Volusia County needy children, food packing for those in poor foreign countries, We are also getting active into periodic cleaning our beaches and helping other Lions in their times of peril (e.g. New Smyrna Beach Lions, Louisiana (Baton Rouge) and Yankee town flooding/restoration. We also sponsored benches and a fountain in the Ponce Inlet Timucuan Oaks Park.
It can draw on its community to support as well as good service projects and those smaller ones that help those less fortunate and in need. Also, the club is always open to new ideas and thinking of different way to better do fundraisers and projects.