ISSUE 10 10 Brilliant Breakthroughs in Service The world has changed a lot in the last 100 years. Lions have roared loudly in making it a better place. At Your Service When Lions Clubs began in 1917, service clubs were all the rage. But few actually were about service. They were businessmen’s groups where the unofficial motto was “I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine.” Service was an afterthought or it was window dressing. The self-serving motives of these groups made them an easy target for Sinclair Lewis in his wildly successful novel Babbitt in 1922. Lewis penned his satire before Lions Clubs became a game-changer. Lions’ founder, Chicago insurance agent Melvin Jones, established a service club organization truly dedicated to service, an organization that prohibited financial self-interest. Jones and other early Lions put the “service” in service clubs and forever altered the role of community-based civic groups. 20 LION APRIL 2013 From its first days Lions Clubs focused on helping others, not themselves. In 1930, members of the Seattle University Lions Club in Washington enjoy a song by children at the Theodora Home “for dependent mothers and their children” after barbers in the club gave haircuts.