Some of the many young mentees of the 100 Black Men of Greater Knoxville who participated in the community cleanup. Photo submitted

By Vivian Shipe

KNOXVILLE, TN — “Its all about building relationships and partnering with the community.” These were the words spoken by Albert Nelson, president of the East Knoxville Lions Club, the last Club in East Tennessee. In addition to the vision services provided by the Club are

The banner of the largest club in East Tennessee. Photo by Vivian Shipe

service projects designed to lift the community  up. Since the Club was founded a few years ago, they have partnered with many groups and organizations; among them the Knox County Mayors Office, the City of Knoxville, the Knox County Health Department,  faith-based organizations like Eternal Life Harvest Center,  Ladies of Charity, Angelic Ministries, and the 100 Black Men of Greater Knoxville.

Keeno Carlos, a member and a mentor in the 100 Black Men organization spoke of the success of this partnership

Lion Dereck Tate, who just received international recognition for his dedication to the service of others, speaking to the club. Photo by Vivian Shipe

with the Lions Club as he and others in their organization had participated and had brought their young mentees to participate in the bi-annual  Five Points UP clean up project which is held in East Knoxville in the spring and fall of each year.

Keeno Carlos, member of 100 Black Men of Greater Knoxville and a long time mentor to many young people , spoke to the Lions Club about their successful partnership. Photo by Vivian Shipe

The Club also has committed to a long-term relationship with Steps for Health, a long-term project designed to reduce health inequities in East Knoxville and the Winter Wonderland project which provides  a community Christmas get together for those who may not have resources for the holiday and for those who live alone to be around others during the festive season.

The mission of the Lions is to: Empower volunteers to serve their community, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace, and promote international understanding. 

Knoxville East Lions Club meets every fourth Friday at 6 pm. To become a Lion, call 865 546-5125 or email to