By Beverly Cockrell
CORRIGAN – Members of the Corrigan Lions Club welcomed guest speaker Kathryn McKeehan at last week's regular meeting of the Corrigan Lions Club. McKeehan, a high school music teacher at Silsbee ISD, was invited to discuss the Leo Club, an affiliate high school program created specifically for civic-minded high school students. The Leo acronym stands for leadership, experience and opportunity.
Corrigan Lions Club President Mike LeBlanc officially opened the meeting and introduced McKeehan as well as Corrigan-Camden High School Principal, Susan Torrez.
The C-CHS administrator was invited in hopes of considering forming a Leo Club at the high school campus.
According to McKeehan, the Silsbee High School Leo Club is one of the oldest in Texas having been established in 1969. McKeehan has served as Leo Club sponsor at Silsbee for the past five years. She shared that the Leos are a service organization just as their counterparts, the Lions. Students ages 12 to 18 can become Alpha Leos. The Alpha Leos program was created with an emphasis on the social development of the tween and the teenager. Omega Leo club members, ages 19-30, focus on personal as well as professional development.
The Leos develop, organize and participate in various local service projects such as visiting nursing homes or children in hospitals or raising funds for the poor or homeless. Leos can also take an active part in one of the Texas Lions Camps each summer which includes, but is not limited to, the summer camps for Children with Physical Disabilities or Children with Cancer. There are also various opportunities in international service projects entitled Spotlight on Children. The Lions Club website states that the international focus is geared toward "Addressing childhood hunger, responding to the needs of children in refugee camps, promoting literacy and education programs, offering comfort and support to hospitalized children, and raising funds for immunization programs."
Requirements and memberships differ slightly from district to district but there is usually no or minimal application fees. For those under the age of eighteen and considering the Alpha Leo club membership, one must have parent consent.
Mrs. McKeehan also said her Leos have attended many of these summer Lions camps as well as district, state and national conventions throughout the year. With a great deal of emphasis on community service and "giving back", being a Leo is a positive on a student's academic record.
At the time of this publication, Amber Perez, C-CHS Business Information Management teacher along with Torrez will sponsor the Leo Club for Corrigan-Camden High School students this year.
So, C-CHS students and parents, if you are interested in becoming a Leo, sign up for the Leo Club. You can access www.lionsclubs.org for further information on this exciting organization.
Remember, the Lions Club is always open to new members. They meet at 6:30 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month at the Corrigan Nutrition Center.
A huge thank you goes to Mike LeBlanc, Cathy LeBlanc, and the entire Corrigan Lions Club for taking an interest in our C-CISD students and inviting McKeehan to Corrigan to discuss this important program.