The Grand Forks Lions Club was organized in the fall of 1921, when a Mr. Thomasson, an organizer from Chicago for Lions International called on local businessmen to organize a Lions Club in Grand Forks. The club was organized February 9, 1922.
The charter night was held in May 1922 at St. Mary's Church Auditorium.
The International Association of Lions Clubs came into being in 1917. Melvin Jones was the founder of "Lionism" and he started the movement as a means of organizing community men's clubs into a strong and directed community resource. Lions Clubs are composed of the leading business and professional men of the community, whose purpose is to furnish organized leadership for community development by recognizing community needs, and by discovering, and effecting remedies for existing needs. Since its formation in 1917, the Lions movement has spread to tens of thousands of communities all over the world.
The Grand Forks Lions Club has been active in community support ever since its inception. Over the years the club has sponsored Boys State and Girls State in North Dakota. The club has helped to organize new Lions Clubs in various communities throughout North Dakota, has provided financial and material support to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other youth groups in North Dakota, has donated funds to help build the Memorial Stadium at the University of North Dakota; and built a hockey rink for youth hockey teams. It has taken an active interest in the North Dakota School for the Blind and was instrumental in getting the school moved from Bathgate to Grand Forks. Historically the club has provided leadership within District 5, North Dakota, South Dakota, Saskatchewan, and also at the international level. The Grand Forks Lions Club has been an active and vital part of community development in Grand Forks and the surrounding area.
The Grand Forks Lions Club Records contains club records starting in 1923. The records from the club's first year are missing. The collection contains correspondence dating from 1942 to 1985. Club records from 1923 to 1936 were kept in bound journals. From 1936, the records were on membership report and attendance record forms. There are club rosters from 1930 to 1985, but they are incomplete. There is a complete list of officers and boards of directors from 1936 to 1962. The collection also contains miscellaneous financial records, supply orders and statements, convention materials, and projects in which the club participated. Newspaper clippings of the club's projects and award certificates and plaques are also included.
The records are incomplete and only give a fragmented view of the history of the Grand Forks Lions Club.