San Diego Downtown Lions Club


Learn about our






CHAIR: James LaGrone

VICE CHAIR: Stephen C. Lupton

SECRETARY/CFO: Todd Kaprielian

TRUSTEES: Doris Alvarez, Kim Bidermann, Jose Cruz, Helen Elias, Freddy Gomez, Dan Larsen, Sharon Mendenhall, Joe Myers, Pam Myers, Jeanne Schuetz, Scotty Schuetz, Charlie Silveria, Peter Singer, John Suderman, Randall Wood and Steve Zapoticzny.

San Diego Lions Welfare Foundation
Board of Trustees  2017-2018


Your donation is a 501(c)3 tax deduction

Please call the the Lions Club office at (619) 239-7264
to make a donation or for information on Estate Planned giving or Charitable Remainder Trusts with the San Diego Lions Welfare Foundation as beneficiary.


Be a smart donor:
Please review -

Our latest IRS Form 990

Our Independent Audit Letter

Our Bylaws


Make your
grant application TODAY.

select the application below that fits your request:

• Individual Application

• Non-Profit Organization Application (PDF | Word)

• Educational Organization Application


San Diego Downtown Lions Club
Welfare Foundation

Our EVOLVING Mission

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3)2 Public Charity and has been a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation since 1944. Our EIN is 33-0299972.

The San Diego Lions Welfare Foundation is the agency that funds the charity and public service operations for the San Diego Lions Club. It is recognized as a charitable organization by government authorities and is accorded tax-exempt status with respect to contributions and bequests made for charitable purposes. With almost $5 million in our Welfare Foundation funds, financial stewardship is sounder than ever. A nineteen-member board elected from the San Diego Lions Club membership evaluates all charitable requests to ensure need.

Building upon a plan of offering assistance to the sight and hearing-impaired, the Downtown San Diego Lions Club continues their support to these worthwhile projects. But as today's society evolves and changes, so too does its needs. The club, ever mindful of the changing times has now taken an active role in programs involving at-risk youth, the elderly, the developmentally-challenged, and otherwise disadvantaged members of our society. And we are the vanguard in providing support to our local servicemen and women.

It's a continuing service record of which to be proud and donations are welcomed.


Please donate to support
those we serve!

The Club conducts its charitable work through the San Diego Lions Welfare Foundation. There is no better investment in the future of San Diego. By donating to the San Diego Lions Welfare Foundation or making the Foundation a beneficiary of your estate, you will continue to serve our community for many years.

With just over $4 million in our Welfare restricted and unrestricted funds, our financial stewardship is sound. You may make donations with confidence and know that your funds will go towards the assistance of others in San Diego or to a specific charitable purpose you designate.


Our charitable grants since July 1, 1996

1996-1997: $ 72,135

1997-1998: $149,022

1998-1999: $123,570

1999-2000: $260,763

2000-2001: $123,541

2001-2002: $149,686

2002-2003: $138,852

2003-2004: $136,204

2004-2005: $131,872

2005-2006: $149,808

2006-2007: $154,665

2007-2008: $368,139

2008-2009: $188,676

2009-2010: $450,896

2010-2011: $187,155

2011-2012: $203,692

2012-2013: $219,356

2013-2014: $195,561

      2014-2015: $182,595

      2015-2016: $196,239

      2016-2017: $184,622

$3,967,049 through June 30, 2017


Many of those we have assisted

Armed Services YMCA

The ARC of San Diego

Blind Community Center (a capital project))

Boys & Girls Clubs

Campfire Boys & Girls

College Opportunity Program

Community Campership Council


Family Literacy Foundation

Hannah's House

Home Start Project

Junior Achievement of San Diego

Lions Camp Jack

Meals on Wheels

Partners With Industry (PWI)

San Diego Center for the Blind (a capital project)

San Diego Council on Literacy

San Diego Rescue Mission

Second Chance/Strive

Senior Community Center

St. Paul's Manor and Health Center (a capital project)

Mark Twain High School

Traveler's Aid Society of San Diego


Valencia Park School

Veterans Village of San Diego

Voices for Children




■ Charitable funding requests

Who do we help?

Individuals and groups living in or serving the City of San Diego may request funds.

The San Diego Lions Club, through its Welfare Foundation, endeavors to assist individuals and non-profit groups in the local San Diego area who cannot find funding from any other source. It may be an eye prosthesis for an economically disadvantaged resident of San Diego, or it may be a van for blind citizens donated to the San Diego Center for the Blind. It may be a laptop computer for a Navy seaman disabled in the line of duty, or it may be the funding to send at-risk youth to camp in the mountains.

Do we still assist the blind? You bet!
But we do so much more for San Diegans!


Our Decision Process

We have three standing committees that consider funding requests for the community.

The SIGHT/HEARING Committee considers all requests from individuals and groups that have to do with hearing or sight loss. Individuals who need specialized equipment to compensate for these losses may apply. Individuals who need eye surgery may apply. Groups that assist the sight and hearing impaired may request funds through this committee.

The S/H committee generally meets on the third Tuesday of each month. To make the funding cycle, your request must be received in some form at least eight days before this date. If you need eyeglasses or hearing aids, please see this link.

The YOUTH ACTIVITIES Committee considers all requests from individuals and groups that have to do with children under the age of 18. We will entertain requests to support local activities for under-funded groups. We support local agencies such as the Boys & Girls Clubs, Scouts, Camp Fire, etc. We assist schools and are partnered with Valencia Park School and Twain Jr./Senior High.

The Youth Activities Committee generally meets the first Tuesday of each month. To make the funding cycle, your request must be received in some form at least eight days before this date.

The COMMUNITY SERVICES Committee considers all requests that do not naturally fall under the auspices of the first two committees listed. These include, but are not limited to, assistance for disabled adults, seniors, and the military.

The Community Services Committee generally meets the second Tuesday of each month. To make the funding cycle, your request must be received in some form at least eight days before this date.

Please note that there are no funding decisions in December. Please consider this in the timing of your proposal.

The final decision to fund a request is made by the Trustees of the Welfare Foundation.


Before submitting a funding request,
be sure you will be considered

If you do not live in the City of San Diego or your group serves another city in the County, please see this link, where you can locate a contact person in the Lions Club in your area.


A Group Seeking Assistance

The group must be a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency serving the City of San Diego or residents of San Diego County which include the City.

The San Diego Lions Club prefers to fund requests for equipment and capital improvements of a one-time nature. Our By-Laws restrict us from providing operating funds to agencies that are affiliated with the United Way, although we can fund capital items for these groups. We may not donate to the capital fund drives of other agencies, nor may we provide aid for individuals or organizations outside the U.S., except through recognized international charitable agencies.

If your group qualifies, please fully complete the NON-PROFIT GRANT APPLICATION  and attach all necessary documents as required per the instructions on the form.

 If you need multiple items, it is helpful to provide a complete list with attached prices, so that the committee may select an item or items that best fit into the budgetary process of the Foundation.

Funding, if approved at all levels, generally takes from four to eight weeks.


An Individual Seeking Assistance

IF YOU NEED EYEGLASSES OR EYE SURGERY, please refer to this link for instructions.

IF YOU NEED A HEARING AID, please refer to this link for instructions.

The San Diego Lions Club will consider requests to assist U.S. citizens who live in the City of San Diego and can demonstrate financial need for a variety of situations.


Some of Individual Requests
That We Will Consider

Specialized equipment for handicapped persons, camperships for disabled or at-risk youth, assistance with surgeries.


Individual Requests That We Will Not Consider

Funding for school sponsored youth field trips (in or out of state), funding for pageants, funding to pay rent, phone bills, or other regular monthly living expenses.

Funding, if approved at all levels, generally takes from four to eight weeks.



In 1973, Lions International decided to honor exemplary service for the individual clubs by establishing a Fellowship Award named after Melvin Jones, the creator of Lions International.

Every year, each club may nominate one or more members who have done service over and above the normal Lion commitment. The winner or winners for each club are given a unique lapel pin, a handsome plaque and a congratulatory letter from Lions International.

The nominating club donates $1000 for each nominee to assist Lions International programs. The Downtown San Diego Lions Club has traditionally specified that the $1000 will go towards the Sight First program which combats blindness around the world.

As of March 2014 there have been 361,160 Melvin Jones Fellows throughout all worldwide clubs.

We have 27 Melvin Jones Fellows in the San Diego Downtown Lions Club.