Leos Club gives opportunity to grow

The St. Croix Valley Leos Club is a community service program that provides volunteer opportunity and development through leadership. Leo clubs are a youth organization of Lions Clubs International.

The word LEO stands for Leadership, Experience and Opportunity. There are about 45 members ranging from 12 to 18 years old. The club meets every third Sunday of the month. The first Leos club originated in 1957 and was founded by Jim Graver from Pennsylvania.

Junior officer and communications manager Paige Anderson has been in the club for two years.

“I chose to be in Leos Club to help my community in a method that would help strengthen my college applications. Being a descendent of the Lions club, Leos are known worldwide and can lead to important connections later in life,” she said.

The Leos club is zoned in the St. Croix Valley but focuses a lot of their work on the whole area of Stillwater and its surroundings.

“We play a role in supporting local causes that need assistance and working to better the lives of people in our own hometown.””

— Paige Anderson

Anderson said, “We play a role in supporting local causes that need assistance and working to better the lives of people in our own hometown.”

The club supports and enhances functions in the community and focuses on giving back through volunteer work and fundraising.

Anderson said, “We’ve done a lot of work relating to the elementary schools in the area and I feel that has been the most rewarding because we know that what we do is greatly appreciated and goes directly back to our community.”

The club does a variety of different volunteer work at every meeting.

Former president and junior Emma Fischer said, “We did a book drive and raised 1,500 books in which every kid at Lake Elmo Elementary went home with for the summer, we collected food and winter clothes instead of candy for Halloween in our Sharing is Caring drive and we have earned about $1,200 for the salvation army while bell ringing. We have done feed my starving children, played bingo at a nursing home and also worked with the local Valley Friendship club at dances and such.”

The Leos club currently has their annual Sharing is Caring clothing and food drive going on to gather perishables and winter clothing to be distributed to kids in the area as they need.

“I came up with this idea last year to help support families that cannot afford sufficient winter gear for their children when they go to school,” said Anderson.

At times, when there is no service event at the meetings, the club reviews and reflects on the important projects they have done.

Fischer said, “We also go over any letters addressed to us and read them. We discuss the upcoming events and what volunteer work we plan to do next. That’s just the main outline. Then, we draw for door prizes and often do a small project like make posters, Christmas cards for the military and make blankets for people in nursing homes.”

The St. Croix Valley Leos club offers many opportunities each month. They try to help the community in any way possible and as much as possible. It is a fun, creative and easy way to get involved in the local community.