Dr. Melvin Prince Brings His Professional Expertise to Bear for Zionsville Lions Club Causes
Writer / Megan Arszman
As a retired endocrinologist whose career spans many different titles and locales, Dr. Melvin Prince has found a renewed passion for serving his community, thanks to the Zionsville Lions Club.
While walking his dog through Lions Park back in 2016, Prince approached the park director to ask about the Lions Club and what it took to become a member. As he learned more about the group and discovered their major causes, it just seemed like a perfect fit.
Lions Club International is the largest service organization in the world, spanning more than 200 countries, 48,000 clubs and 1.4 million members. The Zionsville Lions Club is the largest in Indiana, with 156 active members. The international group focuses on five major causes including vision, hunger, the environment, childhood cancer and diabetes.
“Their vision is to reduce the prevalence of diabetes and improve the quality of life for those diagnosed with diabetes,” Prince says. One of the major ways that the organization acts on that vision is through a grant program. There is a specific grant program for diabetes through which, since 2018, the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) has funded 110 diabetes grants totaling $7 million. Prince is a diabetes technical advisor for the U.S. and Canada. In this role he reviews the grants that come in, provides professional expertise and guidance for the LCIF, and serves as a liaison between the project sites, local Lions groups and the LCIF.
The Zionsville Lions Club has two diabetes-related events coming up on the calendar. The first is a half-day diabetes family event at Lions Park on July 17, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. This is an opportunity for those affected by diabetes or interested in learning more about diabetes to gather in the park. The afternoon will include a lot of fun activities within the park including diabetes educational sessions, diabetes screenings and a STRIDES walk, when everyone will gather to walk the perimeter of the park to show solidarity and raise awareness of diabetes.
The second event is the third-annual STRIDES for Diabetes Awareness 5K and 10K run/walk on October 15 through Zionsville, with a focus once again on raising diabetes awareness.
A Texas native, Prince was recruited to be a professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine to coordinate the school’s diabetes programs, then worked with Eli Lilly as a senior director. He has been married to his wife Lisa for 35 years and the two have raised three grown children, Chandler, Taylor and Garrett.
“My wife’s a pretty special person,” he says. “She’s not a Lions Club member, but she really supports everything I do with the group.”
During his free time, Prince has volunteered with the Lions Club and has been involved with the visual screening process. In 2021 he helped screen 19,000 students in the first, third and fifth grade. “That’s something that’s very fun to do,” he says.
He also works with the Zionsville Food Pantry, helping to restock weekly, and is involved with the Zionsville Presbyterian Church. He and his wife have traveled to Israel as part of the church.
“It comes down to the fact that it is a service organization, and they take the word ‘service’ seriously,” Prince says of the Lions Club. “These people are just incredible and are just dedicated to serve in ways that make a true difference in their community. The number of hours and the dedication they have is just incredible. I’ve been involved in a lot of programs and organizations over the years, and I’ve never seen such an eagerness and willingness to serve and be there for people. I think the impact they have in our community is impressive. I think that’s what really thrills me – to be involved with people that have a heart for service.”
For more info, visit zionsvillelions.com.