Chartered by Lions Clubs International on December 11, 1922, the Cody Lions Club has continuously met the needs of the residents and institutions of Cody. All Lions Clubs in Wyoming belong to District 15 under the organizational chart as designed by Lions Clubs International.
From the beginning, the club has made it a priority to serve the needs of those that are blind or seeing-impaired. In 1921, Helen Keller challenged all Lions Clubs to meet the needs of those with sight loss. Lions Club International accepted Keller’s agenda.
Deserving individuals needing an eye exam and glasses are assisted. Yearly, the average number served is 40. Those needing cataract and other eye surgeries are also helped. Partnerships with Cody eye doctors and the surgery center whereby costs are reduced makes this program work. In addition, nearly 2,000 used eye glasses are collected each year and sent to a distribution center in Tacoma, WA. The glasses are cataloged and make their way to third-world countries where those needing glasses are examined and fitted.
For over 40 years, the annual Turkey Day has been the major fundraiser for the club. The day-long event always scheduled for the Saturday previous to Thanksgiving is family-oriented with many chances for all ages to win a turkey. The event is preceded by the sale of raffle tickets for a brand-new, four-wheel-drive pickup truck, and other prizes. A conservative estimate of community support for Turkey Day would be 2,000+ plus in attendance each year.
In 2010, the Cody City Council declared the Saturday before Thanksgiving an official Cody Lions Club Holiday. In addition to this recognition, the club has won many state awards as well as several members having served in offices at the state and international levels. One of the crowning achievements of the Cody Lions Club was a project named the “best in the world” by Lions Clubs International.
Leadership and fun are the key factors for a service club to be successful. Since 1922, the Club has never had a repeat president, secretary, or treasurer. This is unique when compared to other clubs. Regular meetings are upbeat, fun, and entertaining. The Board of Directors is given the “charge” to conduct most of the club’s business with approved actions reported back to the general membership.
The motto of Lions Clubs International is "We Serve." Since 1922, the Cody Lions Club has served the Cody community well and will continue to do so.