The Rockford Leo Club by LION MIKE WESTGATE Assistant Principal Rockford Freshman Center Lions Clubs International is the world’s premier community service organization, with over 1.3 million members around the world dedicated to helping people in need. Leo clubs are part of the Lions international network with over 5,500 Leo clubs in more than 130 nations. The Rockford Lions Club is proud to sponsor our new Leo club. On February 29, 2012, over 100 students from North and East Rockford middle schools, the Rockford Freshman Center and high school were officially inducted at a ceremony in the Rockford High School auditorium. It was an impressive ceremony with esteemed speakers including Dr. Mike Shibler, superintendent of Rockford Public Schools, Lion Rock Wood, the vice district governor, Lion Ken Frary, the district governor, and Lion Dr. Gary Anderson, the Lions Club International director. It is the largest Leo club ever chartered in the state of Michigan. The Rockford Leo club will be a service-minded organization that will provide assistance to the Rockford schools and community and give its members a global identity. The Leo club motto, “Leadership, Experience, Opportunity,” says it all. Leos develop skills as project organizers, time managers and team leaders. They discover how teamwork and cooperation can bring exciting changes to the community. And most importantly, Leos make friends and feel the rewards of community service. Several Rockford Public Schools administrators are Lions and serve as advisors and mentors to the Leo club students in their buildings. The Leos have already been involved with many positive service projects such as: • planted over 200 trees on school grounds; • volunteered with seniors at Bishop Hills Elder Care; • donations/toy drive for Toys for Tots; • raised funds for Thirsting to Serve and Kids Food Basket; • volunteered in third-grade classrooms at Meadow Ridge; • cleaning up Rockford’s oldest cemetery, Pioneer Cemetery. Future community projects include working at the Start of Summer Celebration, the Farmer’s Market and helping to reclaim the old Rum Creek Mill Pond skating rink. If you or your teenager are interested in getting involved in an outstanding organization, please contact your building assistant principal.
Lions Club International
by CLIFF and NANCY HILL Lions Clubs International (LCI) is the world’s largest community service organization with 1.3 million members. There are more than 45,000 Lions Clubs in approximately 200 countries and geographic areas. All Lions Clubs and their members share a common dedication to helping people in need. Integral parts of the LCI network are more than 5,700 Leo Clubs in approximately 140 nations. Leo Clubs are open to young people between 12 and 18 years of age with good character and an interest in serving their communities. The Leo name is also their motto, standing for Leadership, Experience and Opportunity. The Leo Club has been an official program of LCI for the past 43 years and locally the Rockford Lions Club has decided to climb on board and sponsor their own Leo Club(s). Rockford Lion Larry Lindsley, co-chairman of Rockford’s Leo Club(s), said, “Rockford Schools Superintendent Michael Shibler has enthusiastically and whole-heartedly endorsed school-affiliated Leos Clubs.” Grand Rapids Lions Club member Dr. Gary Anderson, who is also an international director of LCI, said, “I’m excited to see one of our most successful Lions Clubs sponsor a Leos Club program. Lions know how to get things done and I’m positive the Rockford Leo Clubs will be a huge success.” By next spring, plans are in the works to have Leo Clubs at each middle school along with one at both the Rockford Freshman Center and the high school. Each club will have a faculty advisor who is also a certified Lions Club member. The Leo Clubs will be subject to the same rules established by school authorities for all school organizations and extracurricular activities. The Rockford Leo Clubs are open to all students enrolled in the public and parochial schools of the Rockford school district, who meet age and character requirements. Each of the Leo Clubs will develop their own service projects with an emphasis on filling needs locally. Already having 180 Leo candidates signed up to become charter members in the about-to-be formed new clubs, the Rockford Lions have already found a way to test their “mettle.” On recent Saturday mornings, you may have seen some of these young ladies and gentlemen enthusiastically assisting the Lions in one of their current community service […]