BACKGROUND ON 96th LIONS CLUBS INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION IN HAMBURG, GERMANY JULY 5-9
Lions Clubs International – Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. Our 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs are serving communities in 207 countries and geographical areas around the globe. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives and strengthened local communities through hands-on service and humanitarian projects. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit lionsclubs.org.
Lions Clubs International Convention – In early July, more than 20,000 Lions club members and their families from more than 130 countries and geographic areas will gather in Hamburg for the Lions Clubs International Convention.
For five days, Lions will conduct association business, share fellowship and enjoy the sights of this international city. The Lions Clubs International Convention is one of the largest annual conventions of its kind in the world.
Impact of Convention in Hamburg – This is the first time that Lions Clubs International will hold its popular convention in Germany. This will be the largest convention ever held in Hamburg. Lions usually do more sightseeing, stay longer and bring more family members than most business conventioneers.
Convention Highlights – Among this year’s highlights will be:
- A spectacular Parade of Nations with 15,000 Lions from over 130 countries and geographic areas, many in native dress, along with bands and colorful floats. The parade will step off at 10:00 on Saturday, July 6 and will take place in downtown Hamburg along the Binnenalster Lake. The parade route is approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) long.
- Recognition of the young winners of the 25th Lions International Peace Poster Contest and Imagine Peace Essay Contest for blind and visually impaired students.
- A colorful flag ceremony with the flags of Lions nations from around the world on Sunday, July 7.
- Presentation of the 2013 Lions Humanitarian Award, the highest honor of the association, to international superstar tenor Andrea Bocelli, founder of Andrea Bocelli Foundation, on Tuesday, July 9. The award includes a US$250,000 grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation for continuing humanitarian activities. Previous recipients include former U. S. President Jimmy Carter and Mother Teresa.
- Election of Barry J. Palmer of Berowra, NSW, Australia as the 2013-2014 Lions Clubs International president on Tuesday, July 9.
Convention Selection – The Lions Clubs International Board of Directors selects convention sites from around the world five years in advance, following an extensive bidding process. During the evaluation, tourist authorities present options for accommodating the convention and the large number of attendees and explain why their cities are attractive destinations.
Lions Clubs International looks for areas with a strong tradition of Lions volunteerism. Local Lions club members demonstrate their commitment by forming a Lions Host Committee.
Lions Headquarters – Lions Clubs International staff members, headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, USA handle arrangements for convention events, housing, outside suppliers and exhibitors. Around 100 headquarters staff works at the convention.
Lions Around the World – Lions are men and women who volunteer their time for humanitarian causes. Lions clubs evaluate community needs and choose service projects to meet those needs, including:
- Collecting and recycling used eyeglasses and supporting eye screenings and cataract surgeries.
- Sponsoring programs for young people, including youth groups called Leo clubs, and providing scholarships and recreational opportunities.
- Improving the environment, planting trees and building or maintaining community parks.
- Supporting diabetes education, providing hearing screenings and assisting the aged.
- Providing disaster relief in times of emergencies, including both short- and long-term relief efforts following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Superstorm Sandy in the USA and flooding in Thailand.
Lions Clubs in Germany – Lions clubs have a very strong presence in Germany with more than 1,500 clubs and more than 50,000 Lions members. Local Lions are involved in hands-on service in a variety of areas including protecting the environment, improving health, assisting youth and establishing many other community services.
Host Committee – Lions volunteers from Hamburg and throughout Germany have spent several years preparing for the convention. They are responsible for hospitality, including staffing welcome centers, arranging welcoming banners, securing local marching bands for the parade and serving as sergeants-at-arms for major events.
Upcoming Lions Clubs International Conventions
- Toronto, Canada: 2014
- Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: 2015
- Fukuoka, Japan: 2016
- Chicago, Illinois, USA: 2017
- Las Vegas, Nevada, USA: 2018
Attention media: Media passes for events will be available from the Convention Operations Office, at the Central Entrance Counters on the Ground Floor Hamburg Messe und Congress. All events at HMC are closed to the general public. For more information about convention events, visit the Online Convention at lionsclubs.org (search: Online Convention).