by Lisa Schauer & Geoff Fox
Hancock got its first junior order of the Lions and Lioness Club, arguably the town’s most active civic organization, with the organization, induction of members, and installation of officers of the Hancock LEO Club at Hancock Middle Senior High School on Friday evening, May 19.
“We’re here to help the community in any way possible. Its an honor to raise money for charities,” said Trinity Putman, LEO Club president.
Club vice president is Hunter Kerns. Treasurer is Payton McMahon.
LEO stands for Leadership, Experience and Opportunity.
Its members are middle school students ages 12 to 14 at Hancock Middle Senior High School.
LEO chairperson Mindy Coates presented the club’s Certificate of Organization during a program that followed a luau themed dinner held at the school by the Lions and Lioness Club.
Club advisor is Hancock Middle Senior High School Lead Teacher Ruth Bradley, a member of the Hancock Lions and Lioness Club.
The LEO Club is a service organization for students at Hancock Middle School, said Media Specialist and advisor for the club Ann Shilling. She added the high school students belong to Interact, which is a service club associated with Rotary.
The club was initiated a few months ago when two things happened, Shilling said.
The first thing that happened was the Lioness/Lions Club donated money to fund a middle grades book club.
Shilling and fellow teacher Ruth Bradley thought their middle school students could benefit from membership in a service organization. Both teachers are member of the Lioness/Lions Club.
“We are aware of the good works that the LEO Club does in other Washington County schools,” Shilling said.
When the idea for the club was pitched, Shilling said it was met with positivity.
“Staff, students, and families are longing for positive interaction and purposeful engagement following the pandemic,” she said.
The LEO Club will be raising money for Lions Club service projects and celebrating kindness and good character as well, Shilling said.
The hope, she said, is the LEO Club would foster prosocial, service-oriented hearts and minds for both the school and community.
When asked what it means to the Lions Club and future of the clubs in Hancock to see the kids coming out for the LEO Club, Shilling said, “We are growing!”