Lions Clubs International is the largest service organization in the world. Since 1917 Lions have been meeting the needs of local communities and the world. Currently, 1.3 million men and women in 200 countries and geographic areas conduct vision and health screenings, build parks, support eye hospitals, award scholarships, assist youth, and provide help in time of disaster and much more.
A program to benefit and assist youth, the Lions of Virginia Bland Music Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (Bland Foundation) was incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) on July 1, 2007. At that time, the program was changed from an already existing, ongoing charity to a charity foundation (Federal ID # 11-3789354). Under the aegis of the Lions organization, the Bland Foundation has been providing performing opportunities as well as scholarships to gifted music students, both vocal and instrumental, since 1948.
The purpose of the foundation is to promote cultural and educational opportunities for the musically talented young people in Virginia (primarily of high school age). This goal is achieved through progressive competitions, beginning in February, at the local Lions club level, and culminating in May in a competition among 12 finalists. The Bland Foundation oversees the running of the competitions and also provides $18,000 to the 12 finalists. The scholarships must be used for college tuition, music lessons, summer music programs or other music education endeavors. As tuition and lessons are extremely expensive, the Bland Foundation provides needed assistance to these talented, hard working music students and their families.
Many participants in our program (especially the finalists), upon graduation from high school, have been accepted into the top music schools, conservatories and colleges in the United States. Finalists (vocal and instrumental) from 2005-2015 are enrolled in: Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, Oberlin College /Oberlin Music School, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Cornell University, University of Michigan, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon Musical Theater Program, The Juilliard School and Yale University.