Before he was the governor of Georgia, the president of the United States and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Jimmy carter was a Lion.
"I reached for the highest pinnacle of social success in Plains, Georgia, and that was to become a Lion," said Carter.
The 84-year-old has kept close ties with the Lions Club, and visited the club's international headquarters in Oak Brook to dedicate the "Gift of Sight" statue. It's a symbol of the club's extensive work in the field of blindness prevention in third world countries.
Carter says, there's been great progress.
"Even more gratifying for me is to go into a village in Africa or Latin America and see people who have suffered all their lives and know they will never again go blind," said Carter.
President Carter is in town not only to promote the Lions Club's efforts, but also his latest book on resolving the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. It's an effort he says the current president is already taking to heart.
"When I talked to then Senator Obama, I asked him about this. He said, I'm going to start when I first get in the White House if I'm elected. And he's done it," said Carter.
Barack Obama granted his first formal interview as president to an Arabic TV station where he said there will be a more diplomatic, respectful approach from the U.S. to the Middle East.
"It's no doubt that it's very helpful to have a president which I believe we have now, who will be inspirational, eloquent and can cause people to reach beyond themselves," said Carter.
Carter says he will continue his work of reaching out to people in need around the world.