Franklin G. Mason
Few individuals have left as tangible a mark on LVS’s history as Dr. Franklin G. Mason. His service to the blind and visually impaired is among the most extensive and impactful for LVS and for South Carolina Lions Clubs. He joined the Mullins Lions Club in 1953 and served as Club President, Club Secretary, Bulletin Editor, District Governor, International Director, President of the South Carolina Lions Eye Bank, and Past Board Chair of Lions Vision Services. Among an array of awards Dr. Mason is a South Carolina Lions Hall of Fame Inductee, Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow, and an Ambassador of Goodwill.
Dr. Mason was the first Mullins resident to receive the honor of Eagle Scout in 1941. He served for three and a half years in the Pacific Theater of World War II as 1st Lieutenant with the Corps of Engineers and a paratrooper for the 11th Airborne Division. He taught 8th and 9th grade mathematics after the war until he completed degrees from Clemson University and Emory University School of Dentistry. He practiced dentistry for 65 years and contributed immensely to his profession, including service on 35 foreign mission trips during which he extracted an estimated 10,000 teeth. Dr. Mason was a Baptist layman, church leader, and 20-year Board Trustee of Charleston Southern University, which awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Humanities in 1980. He lived from November 20, 1924 until January 11, 2019.
At LVS Dr. Mason was a constant driver for success. He regularly used his generous philanthropic investments as matching gifts to inspire others to give. He began running marathons and races as fundraisers for LVS in 1982 at age 58. His commitment extended to 740 races, 400 first place age group awards, 120 full marathons, over 53,000 miles run, and over $120,000 raised to support vision services. Dr. Mason’s contributions to LVS have been so substantial that we have designated a fellowship in his namesake to recognize gifts of $1,000 or more. Dr. Mason’s compassion for others, financial expertise, and peer-to-peer advocacy propelled LVS to a new level of service and nonprofit excellence.