The Dell Rapids Lions Club
Our club was chartered in September 1944 and has provided funds and volunteers in the Dell Rapids community whenever called upon.
Sight conservation has long been one of the major activities of Lionism and that has certainly been true in our community. For many years we have helped purchase eyeglasses for individuals unable to afford them. We have held free vision screening clinics as well as diabetes clinics. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in our nation.
Lions also collect used eyeglasses at various locations in town. The glasses are taken to the South Dakota Lions Foundation in Sioux Falls where volunteers sort and label them according to prescription. They are then turned over to V.O.S.H. — Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity — whose members travel to Mexico and other impoverished countries and fit needy citizens with these eyeglasses free of charge.
Over the years our club has helped the community in many ways. We sponsor the Boy Scout troop and provide a CompuMed machine for the use of Dell Rapids hospital home-nursing-care patients. Several years ago we completed a beautiful new community sign—supported by native quartzite pillars—on the city's west edge. We offer an annual scholarship of $1000 to a student to be selected from DRHS, SMHS, or Baltic High School. We established "Lions Park" along the rapids of the Big Sioux River and during 1999-2000, refurbished the enclosed picnic shelter in the City Park. We also financially support Dell Rapids Community Haven (out-of-school-time program), the S.D. Lions Eye Bank, the S.D. Lions Foundation, and the Leader Dog School for the Blind (Rochester, Michigan).
Community support has made our aluminum can collection a huge success for decades. In the spring of 2008, we took on paper recycling which has been a very successful project. We also serve a pancake breakfast in the spring and a Meat Raffle every Friday night at Norby's. All profits from our fundraisers are used for charitable causes; funds for club expenses come from dues and other in-club projects.
We meet at 6:00 p.m. the first Thursday of every month at the Pizza Ranch. We have a brief meeting followed by a program presented by a guest speaker. Meetings last one hour.
Membership is open by invitation to any person, male or female, 18 years of age or older, who has a desire to serve our community and mankind world-wide.