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Courtesy of Rego Park-Forest Hills Lions Club
Club members celebrate the 70th anniversary of Rego Park-Forest Hills Lions Club in December 2019 at Manor Octoberfest in Forest Hills.

For the past 70 years, the Rego Park-Forest Hills Lions Club has been dedicated to serving their community’s issues and concerns. 

The Rego Park-Forest Hills Lions Club, established in 1949, is a local chapter under Lions Club International, the largest service club organization in the world with more than 1.4 million members in more than 46,000 clubs worldwide in over 200 countries. 

Founded in 1917, the International Lions Club’s mission is to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions Clubs. 

Heidi Chain, president of the Rego Park-Forest Hills Lions Club, takes pride in the club’s efforts to help others in need. 

“It’s marvelous, here’s a club that has helped hundreds and thousands of people,” Chain said. 

In December, the club celebrated 70 years of service to the community and has received proclamations from local elected officials, including a Declaration of Honor from Borough President Melinda Katz. With a rough estimate of at least 25 members, Chain says they’re certainly looking to welcome new members into the club. 

The Rego Park-Forest Hills Lions Club fulfills its mission locally and beyond, according to Chain, and with more people, the more events they can organize and provide assistance to those seeking help. 

Following the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the club distributed generators that were transported down south from the Carolinas, Chain said. 

“Our club literally did a handoff and drove the generators to a police facility,” Chain said. “God forbid there is a disaster, there are some necessity items the Lions Club has and it’s another way to bring needed resources to New York City.” 

Additionally, members and the club donated supplies and monetary funds to victims that were impacted by Hurricane Dorian in September 2019.

Besides hurricane relief, the club also organizes Forestdale children’s events, toy drives, health safety fairs, and diabetes awareness activities, in collaboration with other organizations. Last year, the club collected 800 donated eyeglasses. 

By conducting vision screenings, equipping hospitals and clinics, distributing medicine and raising awareness of eye disease, Lions work toward the goal of providing vision for all. Through the support of the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), Lions have helped provide more than 153 million treatments for river blindness and 72 million doses of a sight-saving trachoma medication through the SightFirst program along its partners. Lions and LCIF have also helped provide vision screenings for more than 22 million children through the Sight for Kids partnership program. 

The Rego Park-Forest Hills Lions Club is inviting community members to its next upcoming meeting at Ridgewood Savings Bank located at 107-55 Queens Blvd., on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. with special guest State Senator Joseph Addabbo. 

“We welcome people to hear about us and to participate and become members,” Chain said. 

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