Ybor City Lions Club Banner

Cigar FactoryFrom it's humble beginnings in 1885 to today, Ybor City is living history.  Not only is it home to the largest collection of cigar factories and related industrial structures in the United States but it is also home to the Ybor City Lions Club. 

Columbia RestaurantChartered on February 7, 1951, The Ybor City Lions Club continues to serve the community we call home.  The Historic Columbia Restaurant is home to the Ybor City Lions Club which has continually allowed us to hold our meetings at the same location for the past sixty years. Meetings are held every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 12:30 PM and all are invited.

Victor E. Dimaio Annual Achievement Award

Jason FernandezThe Victor E. DiMaio Annual Achievement Award, named for one of the founders of the Ybor City Lions Club, is given each year to an individual or entity that, excels in promoting and enhancing the Latin heritage and culture of Ybor City and the community.

Past winners include former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco, former Tampa City Council member Mary Alvarez, Richard Gonzmart, president of the Columbia Restaurant Group and Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, a Tampa native best known as the personal physician and longtime cornerman for Muhammad Ali.

The 2014 recipient of the Victor E. Dimaio Achievement Award Jason Fernandez, got his first taste of the business working at the Columbia Restaurant before graduating from the University of Tampa. After receiving his master's degree in hotel and restaurant management from Johnson & Wales University, he moved to New Orleans. There, he managed Commander's Palace, where owner Ella Brennan became his next kitchen mentor.

After moving to Los Angeles, he opened and managed four Outback Steakhouses and worked at various Wolfgang Puck locations. Upon returning to Ybor City Jason opened Carne Chophouse, Bernini Restaurant, Tequilas, and the Green Iguana, all located in Ybor City. Jason is happily married to Kristen Fernandez and considers the late Adela Gonzmart, a second mother.

The members of the Ybor City Lions Club wish to extend an open hand to any and all wishing to become a Lion. Join us for lunch and learn a bit about The Ybor City Lions Club and the community we serve.  For more information about becoming a Lion contact Lion Angela Pottinger via e-mail at apottinger@lionseyeinstitute.org or via telephone at 813-933-1869.

We proudly support the community we live in by providing vision testing and eyeglasses for those in need.  We also collect used eyeglasses which are cleaned, sorted and distributed to those in need around the world.  Some of the fundraising projects we hold each year include our Annual Award of Achievement honoring long time Tampa resident Victor DiMaio, our annual March Raffle and our famous Bocce Tournaments.

We are proud of the entities we support through your donations including: