CG Lions Club starts junior organization

Published 10:23 am Thursday, December 1, 2011

COAL GROVE — As Tom Carey sees it, the new Leo Club that the Coal Grove Lions Club is starting is more than a younger version of the service organization he says he proudly serves.

The Leo Club can be a way to guarantee there is a future generation that puts helping others and its community as among its top goals.

“This is a way to build character, “ Carey said. “Leaders are going to emerge from this group of people. The club teaches them leadership, organization, management and responsibility. … These kids are going to be making the decisions on our life later on.”

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Next Tuesday the Lions Club will present the charter to the first-ever Leo Club, open to young people ages 12 to 17 years old. Right now there are 60 students from the Dawson-Bryant school district ready to join.

“And we are looking for more than that,” he said.

When the club gets off the ground, it will be the first Leo Club in the county. And its inception has gotten the backing of the district’s administration, Carey said.

“When we started this program, we presented it to the administration, the board of education, the superintendent,” he said. “We were fortunate that we had 100 percent approval from everyone.”

There will be three adult advisers for the club that will sponsor community events designed to raise money for charitable organizations in the area. An anonymous donor has pledged to pay the $5 per person club dues for each student who joins, plus the $100 charter fee.

“(There will be events) for them to generate money to manage and give away,” Carey said.

Besides giving back to their hometown, being a part of the Leo Club can give students looking ahead to college an added advantage on their entrance applications.

“A lot of colleges are asking that you have some type of community service activity,” he said.

In fact the next Saturday the Leos will be in the thick of things as they help out the Lions and the Coal Grove Betterment Club with the annual Breakfast with Santa. But Carey predicts the young Leos will come up with their own club projects.

“Our kids are innovative,” he said. “They just need a chance. This is one of the biggest things to come around to help our kids.”