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Projects & Events

Projects & Events

Click here for a list of places where you can drop off used eye glasses.

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Members of the Geneva-Excelsior Lions Club give their time and effort on the following and other projects:

  • Providing eye glasses and eye care and surgery.
  • Providing hearing testing and hearing aids.
  • Sponsor local elementary students into the International Peace Poster Contest.
  • Conduct a Club contest and sponsor the winner into the MD4 Students Speaker Contest.
  • Collect used eye glasses that are tested and redistributed to the needy.
  • Providing and serving a Thanksgiving and Christmas programs with meals to newly arrival students from Latin countries. Providing a Flag Day program to those students also.


Eye Glasses

Eye Glasses
We have been providing eye glasses through Lens Crafters but their program has changed. We are looking for a new, steady source we can refer locals to. In the mean time, please contact us with your needs and we’ll do our best to help you. A new program will be available in the future.

Those seeking new or replacement eye glasses need to already have their eyes examined and have a prescription. Many low income and homeless can get a free examination and prescription at:

More info here

Lions Eye Foundation of California-Nevada Logo

Eye Care and Surgery
We are a member Club of, and refer patients to, the Lions Eye Foundation of California-Nevada, Inc. Their mission is:

  • “To preserve and restore the gift of sight by providing free ophthalmic examinations, operations, and medication to the less fortunate members of our community.”
The Lions Eye Foundation of California-Nevada, Inc. (LEF) is a 501(c)(3) corporation that has been in existence over 55 years. For the past half century LEF has come to the aid of needy residents of Northern California and the entire state of Nevada requiring eye surgeries.

Visit the Lions Eye Foundation website

Doctors, patients, exam rooms, and specialized equipment at the Lions Eye Foundation.

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Lions Eye Foundation Image
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Lions Eye Foundation Image
Lions Eye Foundation Image
Lions Eye Foundation Image
Lions Eye Foundation Image
Lions Eye Foundation Image


Collection of Used Eye Glasses

Used eye glasses can be dropped off at:

  • Clinic by the Bay, 35 Onondaga ave., San Francisco
  • Balboa High School, 1000 Cayuga Ave., San Francisco; drop off box in main office
  • Premier Eyecare, 2489 Mission St., Suite 212, San Francisco
  • Lions Eye Foundation, 711 Van Ness Ave., Suite 250, San Francisco
  • or call or email a Geneva-Excelsior Lions Club member
  • Also, most opticians accept used eye glasses

Lions Eye Foundation of California-Nevada Logo

Student Speaker Contest

Student Speaker Contest

An annual event ran by The Student Speaker Foundation, our Club contest is usually held at our regular meeting on the third Wednesday in February. We have a limit to 6 speakers, first to reply have priority; usually we have 3 so don't hesitate to apply late. More than 1 student from a school is allowed and welcomed. Our club hosts dinner for the speaker, coach, and 2 family members. Other guests are always welcome on their own. There is no cost to the student, other than transportation, and cash prizes are awarded at the Club level are Winner $100 and each participating Finalist $25.

Participants must prepare and orally present their speech to us. The speech duration is between 5 and 10 minutes; notes may be used at the Club level. Rules may be found at The Student Speaker Foundation website linked below.

We send invitations to the following schools to participate:

  • Archbishop Riordan H.S.
  • Balboa H.S.
  • Burton H.S.
  • Galileo Academy of Science and Technology

  • George Washington H.S.
  • Lick-Wilmerding H.S.
  • Lincoln H.S.

  • Lowell H.S.
  • Mercy H.S.
  • Mission H.S.
  • Sacred Heart H.S.

  • St. Ignatius College Preparatory
  • SOTA (J. Eugene McAteer) H.S.

2023-24 Topic: “For A Better World, What Would You Change?”

Student Speaker Podium

Student Speaker Contest levels and completion dates for the upcoming year to be updated when available> Current dates:

  • Club Contest by Monday, February 26, 2023
  • Dates below will be updated when available
  • Zone Contest by Monday, March 18, 2023
  • Region Contest by Monday, April 15, 2023
  • District Contest by Monday, May 6, 2023
  • Area Contest by Monday, May 20, 2023
  • MD4 Final Contest on Saturday, June 15, 2023 in Sacramento

The Student Speaker Contest is run by The Student Speaker Foundation which is a California nonprofit corporation administered by a board of directors and 15 trustees. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide scholarships to augment the prizes awarded to the winners of the California Multiple District Four Student Speakers Program.

This year the Foundation will provide scholarships totaling $103,500.00. From this amount, each of the fifteen District winners will receive a $4,500.00 scholarship, each of the four Area winners will receive an additional $6,500.00 scholarship and the winner of the Multiple District Four Contest will receive an additional $10,000.00 scholarship.

Visit The Student Speaker Foundation website.

Resources on the Lions M-D4 website.

Page Currently Hidden on website

Peace Poster Contest

Annual Art Contest for Kids
Each year, Lions clubs around the world proudly sponsor the Lions International Peace Poster Contest in local schools and youth groups. This art contest for kids encourages young people worldwide to express their visions of peace. For more than 25 years, millions of children from nearly 100 countries have participated in the contest.

The theme of the 2018-19 Peace Poster Contest is “Kindness Matters.” Students, ages 11, 12 or 13 on November 15, are eligible to participate.

Peace Poster Contest Judging
Each poster is judged on originality, artistic merit and expression of the theme. Posters advance through several judging levels: local, district, multiple district and international. At the international level, judges from the art, peace, youth, education and media communities select one grand prize winner and 23 merit award winners.

Peace Poster Contest Awards
International winners will be notified on or before February 1.

  • One international grand prize winner will receive US$5,000 and a trip to a special award ceremony.
  • Each of the 23 merit award winners will receive a cash award of US$500 and a certificate of achievement.
Visit Lions International Peace Poster Contest page

Peace Poster Contest Deadlines

  • January 15: Participation information available from International Headquarters to Lions Clubs.
  • October 1: Deadline to obtain participation from International Headquarters.
  • November 15: Postmark deadline for a club to send one winning poster (per contest sponsored) to the district governor.
  • December 1: Postmark deadline for a Governor to send one winning district poster to multiple district council chairperson.
  • December 1: Postmark deadline for a Governor not belonging to a multiple district to send one winning poster to the Public Relations Department at International Headquarters.
  • December 1: Postmark deadline for a Club not belonging to a district to send one winning entry to the Public Relations Department at International Headquarters.
  • December 15: Postmark deadline for the multiple district council chairperson to send one winning poster to the Public Relations Department at International Headquarters.
  • February 1: International winners notified on or before this date.

2018-19 Grand Prize Peace Poster Winner

2018-19 Grand Prize Winning Poster

Announcing the 2019-20 Peace Poster Contest

Announcing the 2019-20 Peace Poster Contest

Mission Education Center, San Francisco

Mission Education Center

About Mission Education Center
Mission Education Center is a K-5 elementary school for newly arrived Spanish-speaking immigrant students. This transitional program helps the newcomer students achieve the necessary skills and confidence to succeed in regular schools to which they will transfer at the end of one year. Their teachers are Spanish bilingual and credentialed to work with our newcomer population. Their main focus is oral English proficiency, academic success in Spanish and English, and orientation to life in a new community.

More about the Mission Education Center

Our involvement with the Mission Education Center began when the Geneva-Excelsior Lions and the Mission Lions merged into the Geneva-Mission Lions on July 1, 2000. Before that, the Mission Lions worked with them from when the school opened in July 1980.

Lion Aaron Straus championed them within our Club by bring in and integrating the follow three projects. Although Lion Aaron transferred to a Daly City club in 2008, he continues assisting us to work with them.

Flag Day at Mission Education Center

Flag Day at Mission Education Center

Lion Bob Lawhon and Flag Day

Lion Bob Lawhon distributing flags and quizzing students

An irregular annual event, usually in February, where members of the Geneva-Excelsior Lions visit the Mission Educational Center in San Francisco. While there, the members teach the kindergarteners through fifth graders the history and significance of the aspects of the American flag and give the students an oral quiz on the topic. Miniature flags and educational sheet about the flag are distributed. More about the Mission Education Center at the bottom of this page.

Review the Flag Day handout

Thanksgiving Luncheon at Mission Education Center

Thanksgiving Luncheon at Mission Education Center

The first three years on this project, 2000-2002, we provided holiday food baskets for needy families with children attending the school. In 2003, however, the format was changed to the current format with us serving the students their “First American Thanksgiving Lunch.”

Most years before lunch, the 6 classes in the school put on a program for everyone attending. The Students sing songs like “Hello, Bonjour,” “Mr. Farmer,” and “Save the Turkey.” Some years include dancing and musical instrumentals. Many years, 3 of the older students read aloud an essay they have written about how they came here and their gratitude for being here.

Students enjoying lunch

Students enjoying their lunch served by the Lions

The lunch varies from year to year, and may include salad, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, cranberry sauce, milk, apple, and pumpkin pie being served. Most years, City leaders, school officials, print and television media attend and report on the event. 6 to 10 Lions help setup and serve the luncheon, along with school staff, which is attended by the students. The enrollment at the school varies from 45 in the lowest year, to 180 in the busiest year.

Christmas with Santa at Mission Education Center

Christmas with Santa at Mission Education Center

Students with Santa and his Staff

Students with Santa and his Helpers

A favorite of the children attending the school, the project is broken into two parts:

  1. Preparation of gift bags to be handed out consisting of school supplies like pencils, pens and folders, and a small age-appropriate toy for each student.
  2. Handing out the gift bags which, most years, includes a guest Santa Claus.
Santa Claus has been played by a local Policeman most years, with a couple of other volunteers, and arrives with sirens blaring and lights flashing when possible. If a Policeman is not available, a Lion stands in as Santa.

The preparation of the bags varies from year to year, usually before a regular meeting or at another location and time. Usually 5 to 8 Lions help with the prep work with the gifts having been bought through local stores. Many of the stores provide discounts on the merchandise as a way of supporting the Lions. On the day of the handout, anywhere from 4 to 7 Lions meet at the school to help with the festivities.

The students parade in, grade by grade, to receive their gift bags which are handed to them by Santa. They display their gratitude by thanking Santa and giving him hugs and kisses. They also sing Christmas songs. The number of students varies from year to year, just as the Thanksgiving Luncheon, anywhere from 45 to 180 students.

Students Singing with Santa and his Staff

Video of Students Singing with Santa
click to watch

San Francisco Bomberos, Fire Fighter Volunteer Group Logo

Beginning in 2012, the project changed. A group within the San Francisco Fire Department, Los Bomberos, has helped us with the project. Through their efforts, many gifts are donated for distribution. Several of their members, with members of the Geneva-Excelsior Lions, hand out the gifts in the same manner as above. We support them with a financial donation to thank them for their efforts and help with obtaining more gifts.

Los Bomberos Facebook Page