Leo Club Takes Pride in Commitment to Community


By Dick Andrews

The Lions Club has a youth organization called the Leo’s. It was started fifty four years ago by Lion Jim Graver and William Ernst. Lion Jim Graver, a high school coach in Glenside Pennsylvania, wanted to give high school boys an inside look at community service. Lion Jim invited his baseball team to a meeting and talked about the needs of the community and how they could help people in their community.

The Abinton High School Leo Club was started in 1957 with 26 baseball players and 9 other students. It was the only Leo club until 1963, when another club was started in Pennsylvania. Today, Leo clubs are made up of high school boys and girls, and there are over 140,000 clubs throughout the world.

Milford Lions Club member Lion Roland Beebe was instrumental in starting the Milford High School Leo Club. The club was charted in 1990 and during the past twenty two years it has been very active in serving the community. Each year about 35 students join the Milford High School Leo’s Club. A Milford Lion Club member oversees the Leo Club and helps them with club structure, programs for meetings and fundraisers. Lion Jack Simon, who is a retired member of the Milford high school staff, has been very active with the Leo Club since its beginning and has been the Leo Club adviser since 1995. This year Lion Mike Sharp, a teacher at the Milford Academy, will be helping Lion Jack Simon.

Over the years the Milford Leo’s have worked many hours to raise money to help less fortunate people in our community. Last year they distributed 26 food baskets for the Thanksgiving holiday. During December they rang the Salvation Army Bell at Wal-Mart, served dinners at the annual Christmas Party for the visually impaired and collected toys for the Toys for Tots program. During March they helped at the Milford Lions Club annual spaghetti diner. They placed collection boxes for used eye glasses, in the area school. You can see that these young people stay very active at helping people in our community.

If you would like to make a difference in your community and have some fun, join the Milford High School Leo club. For information about the Milford High School Leo’s Club, contact the Leo Club Advisor Lion Jack Simon at 422-2132, Lion Mike Sharp a teacher at the Milford Academy or this year’s Leo Club President Bree Wilkins.