Leo Club Turns 50

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By Dick Andrews

The Lions Youth Club, the Leo’s, was started fifty-five years ago. The ideal was to provide youth an opportunity to help people in their community. Jim Graver, a Lion and high school coach in Glenside Pennsylvania wanted to give high school boys an inside look at community service. Lion Jim and another Lion, William Ernst, invited his son’s baseball team to a meeting to talk about the needs of the community and how they could help people in their community.

During 1957 they started the Abinton High School Leo club 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. There is 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 serving the community. Each year about 30 to 40 students join the Milford High School Leo club. A Milford Lion club member oversees the Leo club and helps them with fundraisers, club structure and programs for meetings. Lion Jack Simon, who is also a retired member of the high school staff, has been a Leo adviser since1995.

Over the years the Milford Leo’s have worked to raise money to help less fortunate people in our community. The last several years they have distributed 25 to 30 food baskets during the Thanksgiving holiday. They help with the annual Christmas Party for the visually impaired. They set up eye glass collection baskets in the area schools, help serve at the Milford Lions Club annual spaghetti diner and complete many projects that help to improve our community. Several years ago they received the Delaware State Governors Volunteer award, and have received the Outstanding Leo Club award for District 22 D, for several years.

If you would like to make a difference in your community and have some fun, join the Milford High School Leo club. All Milford High School students are welcome to participate in the Milford Leo’s Club. Membership information can be obtained at the high school from school councilor Lion Mike Sharp, secretary Lion Laurel Pastor at the Academy or Leo Club President Bree Willis. They are planning an information meeting during the third week of school.

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