News Release

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For Immediate Release

New York City, March 11, 2008 – More than 700 Lions club members from 17 countries will assemble March 14 at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City, New York, for the 30th Annual Lions Day With the United Nations.

In 1945, the same year that United States President Harry Truman, Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other world leaders signed the U.N. Charter, Lions Clubs International Founder Melvin Jones and Lions leaders Fred W. Smith and D. A. Skeen were asked to develop the non-governmental organization (NGO) charter for the United Nations. Since this relationship was established, the two organizations have worked together on many humanitarian ventures. Lions have supplied manpower and resources for UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), WHO (World Health Organization) and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) projects.

The all-day event will include addresses by Under-Secretary General Kiyotaka Akasaka, Ambassador Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Prasad Kariyawasam and U.N. Foundation Senior Advisor Gillian Sorensen; an award ceremony for the 14-year-old grand prize winner of the 20th annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest; a performance by the Midwest Young Artists Voices Rising; a special luncheon with U.N. ambassadors; presentations to UNICEF and a tour of the U.N. building.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with 1.35 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in 206 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit the Web site at

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