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By C.L. Smith
Reporter
BELVIDERE – In an effort to get kids excited about a new Leo Club, the Belvidere Lions held an informational meeting for students and parents at the Boone County Historical Museum on Saturday, Feb. 6.
Lions Clubs International is a large service club organization that operates in 210 countries and has 46,000 independent clubs consisting of 1.4 million members.
Each club’s mission is to support and strengthen their respective communities through charity and community activeness. Special emphasis is put on providing vision and auditory services to people who would otherwise not have access.
Belvidere’s local Lions Club chapter, the Belvidere Lions, is in the process of sponsoring a new Leo Club.
A Leo Club is similar to a Lions Club in structure and that it is driven by community service. The difference is that it is operated entirely by student members and acts as a separate club, independent of a Lions Club, though guidance and advisement are available when needed. Leo Clubs are strictly for students between the ages of 12 to 18.
Lonna Bentley, future advisor to the new Leo Club, stressed the importance of the club’s independence. “These kids will rule the roost and set the tone for their club,” she said. “They will be the first president, vice president, secretary, and so on. They’ll always have this and never have it taken away.”
Belvidere Lions president Valli Jo Rubeck was in attendance and emphasized the need to have students involved in their neighborhoods.
“These kids will get direction, learn valuable leadership skills, and experience teamwork first hand,” Rubeck said. “They will acquire and develop so many positive character traits, all while helping the less fortunate and help strengthen their community.”
According to Rubeck, the first step in creating a Leo club is to hold a public meeting to provide information to parents and students.
“The next step in the process is for us to visit with the principals at the schools,” Rubeck said.
Once up and running, this will be the first Leo Club for Belvidere. North Boone, Harvard, Hononegah, and various other surrounding schools have their own chapters.
Students who are interested in joining are encouraged to email belvidereleo@gmail.com for more information.

 
 
 
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