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News Release


Melitta J. Cutright
Brett Rush

For Immediate Release


OAK BROOK, Illinois, June 1, 2008—Nobel Prize Winning economist Muhammad Yunus and environmentalist Adil Najam will speak to more than 18,000 members of Lions Clubs International (LCI) and their families in Bangkok, Thailand, as part of the association’s 91st Lions Clubs International Convention. Convention events will be held Monday, June 23, through Friday, June 27, at the IMPACT Convention Center.

Presiding over the convention will be 2007-2008 International President Mahendra Amarasuriya, of Colombo, Sri Lanka. President Amarasuriya has led the association through a year of notable achievements, including efforts to eliminate the transmission of river blindness in Colombia and the distribution of the 10 millionth dose of medicine to fight trachoma in Ethiopia.

Lions clubs expanded their global effort over the past 91 years. Currently the association has 1.35 million members in 206 countries and geographic areas who are dedicated to improving their communities and the world.

At the convention, LCI will recognize the successful conclusion of Campaign SightFirst II, the association’s fundraising effort to combat preventable blindness. Lions surpassed their $150 million initial goal earlier this year.

Highlights of the convention will include:

  • A spectacular Parade of Nations, beginning at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 24. An estimated 10,000 Lions from 110 countries, many in native dress, will march, along with floats and 25 marching bands.
  • Presentation of the 2008 Lions Humanitarian Award to Nobel Prize-winning economist Muhammand Yunus, founder and managing director of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, in recognition of his efforts to help the economically disadvantaged. The award includes a grant of US$200,000 for continuing humanitarian work.
  • A keynote address on the environment and global climate change from Nobel Prize-winner professor Adil Najam of Pakistan. Najam shared the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • Election of the 2008-2009 Lions Clubs International President, Albert F. Brandel, of Melville, New York, USA on Friday, June 27.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization. In addition to its efforts toward conquering blindness, the organization has made a strong commitment to community service and helping youth throughout the world. To learn more about Lions Clubs International, visit

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