Club History

It all began with Phineas Packard, owner of San Diego Arts and Crafts Press, who was convinced San Diego needed an organization to serve the community – one that worked hard and played hard!

Phineas started his campaign on 12 August 1921, by inviting 11 influential San Diego businessmen to lunch at the San Diego Hotel.  The group agreed to pursue membership in the fledgling international organization called the Lions Club and contacted the Los Angeles Lions Club for help.

On a Saturday in the following month, the group met for dinner at the U.S. Grant Hotel with four members of the Los Angeles Club. The first official meeting of the Downtown San Diego Lions Club was 29 September 1921, at the San Diego Hotel and after reaching the requisite 50 members, the Club was chartered on 8 April 1922.

The Downtown San Diego Lions Club has currently has approximately 120 members. We have accomplished many altruistic achievements including:

  • Funding buildings for the Girl Scouts of America in Balboa Park, Lions Optometric Vision Clinic, Blind Recreation Center, and our own Lions Manor.
  • Supported over 400 charitable organizations. In 2018, we provided funding and volunteer services to the Natural History Museum, Meals on Wheels, Veterans Village’s Stand Down, Paralyzed Veterans, Interfaith Shelter Network, San Diego Young Artists Academy, and Outdoor Outreach.
  • Developed and hosts the Mike Morrow Baseball Tournament, now called the San Diego Lions Baseball Tournament, which is the largest high school baseball tournament in the United States.
  • Sponsor and serve at Lions Camp Jack, which provides a week of recreational outdoor camp for financially disadvantaged children.
  • “Adopted” several elementary and secondary schools such as Valencia Park Elementary School, Monarch School for homeless children, and Mark Twain High School for students needing a second chance.

The Downtown San Diego Lions Club continues to be the premier service organization in San Diego.

With the Heart of a Lion

The story of the San Diego (Host) Lions Club

We Serve Globally

Lion Club is an international organization and more information about this great organization can be found here.

Lions serve their community. It is that simple and it has been that way since the organization was founded in 1917. Lions Clubs are places where individuals join together to give their valuable time and effort to improving their communities and the world. With over 1.38 million members serving in 46,481 Lions Clubs in 210 countries and geographical areas, Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization.

The Downtown San Diego Lions Club is one of the largest Lions Clubs in the United States and received the Outstanding Grant Making Organization at the National Philanthropy Day event in November 2017, the Malin Burnham Award for Most Admired Service Organization at the Realty Changers Event in May 2018, and the top Large Club Award by the Lions District in June 2018.