Newest Leo Club inducts fourteen founding members
SPRINGHILL-June 1, 2013 will remain etched in the memories of all those who gathered inside of the Springhill Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion this past Saturday on the occasion of the granting of the charter to the Springhill Leos Club.
“You are about to join one of the largest groups of young people in the world,” stated Governor Wayne Little. “Like your sponsoring organization (2011 Springhill Lions Club), as volunteers you are an important part of the community. Work as a team and have fun,” added Little. “I hope you become Lions someday.”
The origins of Leos, a worldwide youth group that tackles such serious issues as bullying, alcohol and drug problems at its meetings, can be traced to December 5, 1957 when the first Leo Club was formed by Jim Graver, coach of the Abington High School, Pennsylvania baseball team. An active member of the Glenside Lions Club, Graver founded the Leos club with the help of fellow Lion William Ernst.
Today, Leo Clubs such as the new one in Springhill can be found in 139 nations.
Standing for Leadership, Experience and Opportunity, Leo Clubs have been opening doors for young people between the ages of 13 and 18 for decades.
“I remember a day in the 1970s in Parrsboro when I was the Leos’ King Cody Ross,” explained guest speaker and former Leo Glenn Levy, a pharmacist, volunteer fighter and, most notably, one of seven Canadian Ground Zero volunteer rescuers who descended upon Manhattan during the dark days that followed 9/11.
“Leos opened so many opportunities for me, such as rafting down the Colorado River and flying a Cessna,” stated Levy who still keeps in touch with the other 44 King Leos he met at a Leo Youth camp over three decades ago. “One of these Leos was Keith Odlin, a paramedic living in Parrsboro who is now my brother-in-law.”
The Leo Club’s executive was also inducted following each of the Springhill Leos fourteen founding members induction into the Leo Club while holding candles.
Springhill Leo Club advisors Lance Lockwood and Bonnie MacDonald watched keenly as each of the fourteen Leos signed their charters in front of them.
Congratulatory certificates from the Truro Lions’ Club, the St. Andrews Wesley United Church and the Progressive Conservative (PC) party were read aloud.
PC leader and Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie was unable to attend as he was with his family celebrating his mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. A certificate from the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia was presented to King Leo Cody Ross by Cumberland South Liberal candidate Kenny John Jackson (for Stephen McNeil).
Former long-time Springhill mayor Allan Dill was also in attendance Saturday.
Lockwood thanked the ladies’ auxiliary for the wonderful meal that they prepared.