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Dan and Julie Madden, club members, Mindy Helsley, Coppell Lions Club President, Tim Decker, SPOT vision screening Coordinator at Coppell Public Library for screening pre schoolers.


This year Lions Clubs International (LCI) is celebrating 100 Years of working together to improve communities.  LCI is now the world’s largest service organization, with more than 1.35 million members in more than 45,000 clubs all around the globe.

One of many areas of focus includes aiding the blind and visually impaired. Lions clubs have provided vision clinics to detect and correct vision issues for many years.

Recently LCI began a program called KidSight USA, designed to safeguard the vision of children ages 6 months to 6 years. Lions clubs in North Texas can now offer vision screenings to children using state of the art technology devices call Spot Vision Screeners. These hand held, portable devices allow users to quickly and easily detect vision issues. Both eyes are screened at once from a nonthreatening 3-foot distance.

North Texas Lions clubs are partnering with local pre-schools, day cares, libraries and other organizations to provide free vision screenings. The Coppell Lions Club has partnered with the Coppell Library to provide screens to the young people that visit for their children’s programs. The club plans to partner with several pre-schools and day cares to provide the screenings as well.

Screenings are fast, easy and non-threatening to the kids. Parents fill out an application giving permission to perform the screen. There is no diagnosis provided, only test results that can aid with a professional diagnosis. A recommendation for a complete eye exam is made when indicated.

Why 6 months to 6 years old? The first few years of a child’s life are critical in the development of good vision. Children should have their vision checked for issues such as misaligned eyes, and problems that need correction with eyeglasses. These problems are not always evident by simply looking at a child. Young children often compensate for vision problems so well that parents, teachers, and pediatricians are unaware of a problem. Many common vision-robbing conditions such as “lazy eye” can be effectively treated if detected in a child’s formative years.

About 7-15% of kids screened will be referred for a follow-up exam by an eye-care professional. Approximately 5% of all children in this age group will have amblyopia, a treatable disorder than can result in permanently reduced vision when not addressed by an early age. The screening devices detect risk factors for amblyopia, such as strabismus (eyes that cross or wander out,) refractive errors and unequal vision between the two eyes, and potentially even more serious issues such as cataracts and eye cancer.

 The Coppell Lions Club look forward to providing this valuable service for many years to come. If you’re interested in learning more, or scheduling a screening, contact Tim Decker

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Spaghetti with Santa 

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Local Coppell youth—Kelsey Leffingwell and Jacob Gorman—recently spoke to the Coppell Lions Club about their experiences at summer camp in Kerrville, Texas.  It was heart-warming to hear about how much fun they had and what they had experienced during their week in the Texas Hill Country. 

 Kelsey Leffingwell, who has attended several years, has graduated from camp.  She is keeping up with friends that she made and is planning to apply to be a counselor in the future. 

 Jacob and his father spoke about the fun that he has had at camp and how they wish that other children can be aware of and participate in this camp in the future.

 The mission of the Texas Lions Camp is to provide, without charge, a camp for physically disabled, hearing/vision impaired, and diabetic children from the State of Texas, regardless of race, religion, or national origin. Our goal is to provide an atmosphere wherein campers will learn the "Can Do" philosophy and be allowed to achieve maximum personal growth and self-esteem.

 If you know of anyone who might be interested in learning more about TLC, please contact Lion Margaret Bryan,, 214-668-4247.

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Coppell's Lions Club and Leos Club at Metrocrest Food Pantry

When school ends so do the nutritious breakfasts and lunches provided to students through the Free and Reduced Price Meals program.  Metrocrest’s “Sack Summer Hunger” program fills the gap for students in Coppell Independent School District, by providing a weekly distribution of food.

Coppell Lions Club along with Coppell High School’s Leos Club has been busy this summer delivering food to many Coppell students. 67 families, 155 children, 23,250 meals, Interested in being a part of this wonderful community service group? Check out website for Coppell Lions Club. 

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The Lions Club of Coppell celebrated a great year of service to the community at their recent awards banquet, held at the Airport Marriott on June 6, 2016. In celebration of the club’s prestigious “Club of the Year” award,   founding club members Joe Shirley, Bill Westcoat, and Jim Strell  carried in the traveling trophy in a  white-gloved. It is the second time in four years the Coppell Lions Club has been given that distinction.

Outgoing Coppell Lions Club President Ed Darling served as host and emcee for the annual event, which brought several District dignitaries, business partners and guests. In a year when the club sought to transition from having “event sponsors” to active community partners, club members recognized two outstanding partners for their dedicated efforts to help the community. Bob Austin from Kroger and Christina Glidewell from RE/MAX DFW Associates were honored with plaques by Darling.

The 2015-2016 year also saw the formation of the student-led LEO Club at Coppell High School. LEO’s are young adults in high school that carry on the same dedication to service indicative of Lions Clubs. Lions Dan and Julie Madden served as liaisons to the new group that was chartered in the Fall of 2015, and has grown to over 20 members.  The inaugural president of the LEO Club at CHS, Haasi Pidparthi was also honored by the President for her outstanding leadership in the organization of the club, her efforts in attracting new members and her guidance in community projects that benefitted those in need.

Several outstanding individuals were presented service honors during the banquet. Lion Dan Madden received highest recognition as “Lion of the Year”  for the club, while  Lions Fred Conger and Tom Garriss were both honored as Melvin Jones Fellows. The Fellowship award is an award of high distinction based on humanitarian service, and is named after the founder of Lions Clubs International.  

Club secretary Stan Lockett was honored with a Jack Wiech Fellowship named for the founder of the Texas Lions Camp.  Lion Jeff Helsley received a Texas Lions Foundation Fellowship for his service.   A number of other awards for attendance and services achievement were presented, during the evening.

The evening culminated with the induction of the 2016-17 officers and board of directors.  Coppell’s own Bill Smothermon, who has served two terms as President of the Club since joining in the early 1970s,  will be the incoming District Governor for the entire 2-X1 area, which covers an area as far south as Ennis, and north and east to Greenville.  History was recorded, when District Governor Smothermon inducted his daughter, Melinda Helsley as Coppell Lions Club President for the upcoming year.

Other officers inducted for the 2016-17 year were: First Vice-President, Dan Madden;  Second Vice-President Lynne Garriss; Vice-President of Special Projects, Alfred White;  Secretary, Stan Lockett, Assistant Secretary, Peggi Smothermon; Treasurer, Tom Garriss; Membership Chair, Doug Pearce;  One-Year Board Directors Alex Rosenblum and Jeff Helsley;  Two-Year Board Directors Alice Conway and Kevin Mascarenhas; Tail Twister, Sarah Kathman; Lion Tamer, Ron Harrison; Publicity and Outreach, Julie Madden;  and Webmaster and Social Media Director, Korky Kathman; The immediate past president, Ed Darling, and the three founding members also will sit on the board of directors.

Outgoing club president Ed Darling gave a slide show reminder  of the year in review. going through photos that qualified the Club again for yet another Club Excellence award. The presentation also included a recap of service projects that benefitted the Coppell Nature Park, the Coppell High Scholl Food Bank, the Community Holiday Toy and Food Drive, Sports Extravaganza for Disabled Children and the Texas Lions Camp.

The 2016-2017 year marks the 100th year of service of Lions Clubs, whose first national convention was held in the Dallas Adolphus Hotel in 1917. From that beginning of a few members, the Lions have grown to be the largest service organization in the world, with 1.5 million volunteers in over 200 countries.

Interested individuals that would like to join the Lions Club of Coppell, are invited to check out their website at for information on enjoying the benefits of being a member of the dynamic, growing club.