PRESS RELEASE – Join our Leo District Chairman Lion Rhon Stephens and our Region Chairman, Lion Monica Felix and Zone Chairman Lion Marcia St Ange in congratulating the LEO CLUB OF CASTRIES as they join with other Leos clubs around the world in celebrating INTERNATIONAL LEO DAY ON DECEMEBR 05.
This is an annual occasion to commemorate the organization of the first Leo club on December 5, 1957 and applaud Leos for their dedicated service in their communities.
The Leo Club is a program of the Lions club which started through the vision of Coach Jim Graver who started the Leo ball rolling in 1957, and chances are that ball was a baseball. Graver was the baseball coach of the Abington High School in Pennsylvania, USA and an active member of the Glenside Lions Club. With help from his fellow Lion, William Ernst, the first Leo club was charted on December 5, 1957.
As the world’s first Leo club, the Abington High School Leo Club created the Leo acronym – Leadership, Equality, Opportunity – and they chose their school colors, maroon and gold to serve as the Leo club colors. Later, Equality was changed to Experience. In October 1967, the board of directors of Lions Clubs International adopted the Leo Club Program as an official program of the association.
The Objective of the Leo movement is:
“To provide the youth of the world with an opportunity for development and contribution, individually and collectively, as responsible members of the local, national and international community”.
The Motto is:
Leadership – Develop skills as a project organizer, time manager and team leader.
Experience – Learn how teamwork, cooperation and collaboration can bring exciting changes to your community and the world.
Opportunity – Make friends and feel the rewards of community service.
The Leo Club Program has been growing strong for over 50 years. Community service remains the cornerstone of the program. Like their Lion counterparts, Leo club members enjoy serving their neighbors and watching positive results unfold while having fun.
Every day, millions of children around the world miss out on the joy of childhood. Instead of playing with toys, they deal with poverty, malnutrition and disabilities. That’s why Leo clubs take part in Spotlight on Children, the international service project of Leo club. Spotlight on Children projects give Leos the opportunity to enrich the lives of children by:
- Collecting food and clothes for less fortunate in the community
- Repairing playgrounds
- Implementing after-school tutoring programs
- Visiting children in hospitals
- Raising funds for immunization programs
Typical Leos Projects
|Citizenship||Drug Awareness||Public Service|
|Youth Welfare||Youth Exchange||Health|
|School Support||Save Sight|
Through projects like these, Leo clubs bring hope and laughter to needy children, especially on December 5, International Leo Day.
To celebrate this year the Leo Club of Castries has planned a Leo Professional Development Day which will include formal presentations on Team Work and Social Interaction as well a fun a games.
The Leo Club of Castries was chartered as a program of the Lions Club of Castries on April 7, 1984 and celebrated their thirtieth year of existence in April this year. Like their Lion counterparts the Leos of Castries can be seen engaging in Community projects covering areas such as
- Sight preservation and Education – The Leos work closely with the Lions and the St Lucia Blind Welfare Association in organizing and executing the Kids in Sight Programme which provides corrective eye surgery to needy children ;
- Diabetes Awareness – in that area they partner with the St Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association. This year the Leos were instrumental in organizing the Moonlight walk for Diabetes and presented the initiative of lighting blue candles on a blue circle at the end of the walk – in honour of persons who has passed;
- Feeding the destitute – They serve a monthly breakfast to the destitute in the city on the first Saturday of every month. Christmas is especially meaningful when they partner with Super J Supermarkets in the preparation and serving of a Christmas meal to the destitute. This year the activity will take place on December 19;
- Educational Programmes – Sponsor needy children with school supplies as well as participate in the Lions Reading Action Programme and read to students of various schools in the city;
- Cancer Awareness and Education – Again they have forged a partnership with Super J Supermarkets in their annual Walk for Breast Cancer.
- Environment Preservation – The Leos participate in the Let’s Do it St Lucia – an initiative to help keep our environment clean.
For past fifty-eight years, Leos have served their communities, while developing leadership skills and establishing life-long friendships. Participation in Leo activities and projects helps young people prepare for the future by developing leadership, organizational and social skills. Members experience increased self-esteem and personal growth as they meet challenges and accept responsibilities.
By volunteering their time and talents for the benefit of others, Leos learn firsthand the value and rewards of service. Leo club involvement can start young men and women on a lifetime of helping others.
Sponsoring Lions clubs around the world contribute to the success of the Leo Club Program. When working with youth Lions fill the role of mentor, motivator, counselor and role model. Sponsoring a Leo club also provides a way for Lions to mentor future community leaders and encourage future Lions.
To join in the celebration Leos are challenged to invite a potential new member to your next club meeting in order to fulfill the “Each One Ask One” challenge;
This year as we celebrate International Leo Day The Lions of Castries are inviting all Leos to write a quick thank you to the lion or Leo who introduced you to the Leo Club Program; show some act of kindness to someone whom you meet or just be a Leo at heart.
The most important thing to remember about Leos is that:
- Leos help people in need.
- Leos help their club grow.
- Leos help their fellow Leos.
- Leos have lots of fun.
For young persons who are service minded between 18 and 30 years, and wish to become members of this great Service organization please contact the LEO club of Castries at [email protected]