How we serve our communities
San Diego Downtown Lions Club
The San Diego Downtown Lions Club provide local young people with opportunities for achievement, learning, contribution and service, individually and collectively, through sponsorship of activities identified as best practices in the field of youth development. In addition, Lions serve to make a difference in the lives of marginalized youth.
We provide outdoor activities for at-risk youth through Camp Jack; Celebrate the great American pastime through the Lions Invitational High School Baseball Tourney; Provide scholarships to deserving and gifted youth; and Develop public speaking confidence through our Youth Speakers Contest.
Lions Camp Jack is the dream of its founder, Jack Wyatt, a member of the San Diego Downtown Lions Club.
Jack's dream was to provide a summer outdoor experience for San Diego's at-risk youth. The goal is to provide a safe and fun-filled one-week vacation away from their regular surroundings, to build and perpetuate a friendly relationship with law enforcement personnel and to reinforce moral and ethical values and community responsibility.
The dream became a reality in 1996 and has been growing stronger each year, with plans for year-round activities. Campers enjoy such activities as Archery, Arts and Crafts, Aquatics, Creative Arts, Hiking and Exploring.
They are San Diego-area youth referred by law enforcement and youth-serving agencies who come from areas where incomes are lowest and crime is highest - kids often at high risk for troubled lives. Those chosen for this free week of fun, learning and relaxation return home with a better outlook and a knowledge that people in the community, especially law enforcement officers, really care about them. The age level is 9 to 12 years - young enough to be able to make better decisions about their lives.
The two major criteria are age and whether the young person falls into the somewhat undefined category of at risk.
Police, probation and foster family groups countywide are asked to make referrals along with community organizations. Campers are chosen if they live in high-crime areas; are eligible for the school free-lunch program; had contact with law enforcement; and/or if family members are incarcerated. Kids with inappropriate criminal backgrounds are not accepted.
If you know a child who qualifies you can call Kathleen Baldwin at (619) 295-8393, Ext 13 for more information about referring this child for camp.
Each camper costs the sponsors $400 for the week but is free to the campers and their families.
The camp is run from funds provided by community donors who believe that every kid can benefit from a week of clean air, an environment safely away from gangs and drug violence, and a place they can make new friends.
We have found (and long-term national data shows) that after one week of camp, 96% of campers improved performance in the following areas: communication with others, accepting responsibilities, self-reliance, self-esteem, participation in recreation, skill achievement, and self-help skills.
We have had calls from parents saying, Thanks, you gave me back my child. Miracles do not happen in a week, but year after year, past campers have asked to return. It's now common for past campers to participate as Counselors in Training. Yes, it works!
Providing a free camping experience for over 300 needy kids a year is a costly venture. Lions Camp Jack receives major donations from the San Diego Lions Club, the Lions Clubs of San Diego County, the Boys & Girls Foundation and other generous sponsors. But we must also rely on assistance of community donors.
If you or your organization can sponsor one or more of these deserving youngsters this year, please fill out the Send a Kid to Camp form and send your gift to the address at the bottom. Your donation is fully tax deductible to a 501(c)(3) Charity EIN 33-0939506. This is community involvement in its best form.
Please click here to print out the Send A Kid to Camp donation form.
The 2017 tournament will be held at various high school fields around
San Diego county.
The tournament started in 1951 and has been held every year since! Originally the tournament field was limited to San Diego County High Schools and a few nearby towns, and was the idea of one of our members - Mike Morrow. La Jolla High School won the initial tournament and the trophies were presented at the Army and Navy YMCA with members of the Padres in attendance.
In 1953, 24 teams entered and other local Lions Clubs assisted with manpower and money. By 1954 the tournament championship game had been promoted to a Padres double header at Lane Field! The 1955 tournament was cancelled because of rain - since then local churches have been enlisted for weather prayers and the event has not been cancelled again!
By 1960 team participation had increased to over 500 players from around the United States. The tournament celebrated its 25th year and there were efforts to increase the support to a district wide committee. Sadly with this upgrade, the support faltered and the Downtown Club regained control of the effort.
Jim Gordon reanimated the support effort with television and radio coverage, and the participating team totals grew to over 100 from almost every state in the union.
Judge Pete Gallagher, a long time baseball aficionado, took the reins from Jim, and the participants increased even more to 130. Pete has instituted a coaches dinner at the club where Padre players and officials share stories with the coaches over steaks and libations.
The increased participation required six levels of completion governed by school enrollment and that continues today. The tournament has become a hallmark of San Diego prep baseball, and many Major League stars have been grown out of the competition! See www.LionsBaseball.org for more details.
For graduating seniors from Hoover, Garfield, Kearny, Lincoln, Monarch,
Touissant, Twain and San Diego High School only
The San Diego Downtown Lions Club, through its Welfare Foundation, has scholarship assistance available to students graduating from area high schools so that they may pursue higher education in the undergraduate college or vocational school of their choice. Scholarships of $1,200.00 will be awarded to each student selected.
Applicants must be resident U.S. citizens or legal residents with alien registration cards.
Graduating seniors will be selected only from Hoover, Garfield, Kearny, Lincoln, Monarch, Touissant, Twain or San Diego High School as this scholarship is intended to assist graduating seniors from the geographical operating area of the Downtown San Diego Lions Club.
We are seeking individuals who have demonstrated, and will continue to demonstrate, a desire to serve their communities. We wish to foster this spirit of community service in the young people who will receive our scholarships. For this reason scholarships will be awarded based on scholarship merit, financial need and demonstrated community service.
Applicants should fully complete the application form and financial data form each time they apply. Graduating seniors should provide transcripts from their high school. The application will be available from your school counselor in early February each year.
All applicants should submit a typed essay explaining why they deserve this scholarship. The essay should include all activity outside of studies that can be shown to be beneficial to others, including own family members (house helper and job related services), musical, sports, civic groups, church, etc. If you are a student at one of the high schools above, and wish to apply for a scholarship, please see your school counselor for an application.