BEAVERTON – Celebrating its 75th anniversary year, the Beaverton Lions Club continues to support the local community’s youth as one of its primary goals. The Lions familiar symbol of the two-headed Lion indicates that the club honors its past but is looking to the future by supporting young people and providing opportunities for them to contribute to their communities.
An example of their work in the past is in the 1950s, the Lions financially supported a senior boy, allowing him to stay in school after the death of his parents and go on to a career in the military and a very successful life.
The Beaverton High School Leo Club is an example of this emphasis on the future. In 2013, the Lions initiated the Leo Club as a way for students to have the opportunity to give back to their community. As the international youth branch of the Lions Club, the Leos have more than 7,000 clubs and 175,000 members in 145 countries. LEO stands for Leadership, Experience and Opportunity.
This year the Beaverton High Leo Club had 47 students, including 15 seniors who were graduated their service cords. Assistant Principal Renee Inscho, faculty sponsor, said, “Being a Leo guides them and teaches them to be a considerate, mindful, and responsible community member. They learn how to respond to the needs of others, care for our community, and lead a positive lifestyle.” The club met at least monthly and had a very successful year with community projects.
The Leo Club participated in the United Way Miracle Minute, the Festival of Lights Parade, SPARKS Game Night, food distribution at Christ the King Lutheran Church, BYRP Field Day clean up, BYRP batting cage improvements, Memorial Day cemetery flags at the Beaverton Cemetery, the Christmas Kindness fundraiser event and shopping, wrapping and delivering presents for two families, the PTO Carnival, Lunch Buddies, and the Ag Science Stem trailer at the elementary school.
The club’s future plans include participating in the Community Beautification Day, painting of the city’s Christmas decorations, assembly of the elementary school’s GaGa Pit, painting of BHS baseball foul ball posts, an outdoor fishing program, and locker combinations reset. Looking to the club’s plans for next school year, Inscho added, “Students can join at any time by notifying a current member or the advisor; we encourage participation and involvement.”
Throughout the years, the Lions have supported worthy school activities including graduation night, D.A.R.E., and more recently the backpack food program. They have been very supportive of athletics, including athlete of the year awards, and dinners for many teams over the years. Another past tradition of the Lions Club was sponsoring the annual Punt, Pass and Kick football program. The Club also sponsored the annual Wodak Award given to Beaverton’s best male athletes. More recently the club donated to help build the baseball-softball training complex.
The Lions have contributed to help buy band uniforms and every year contributes to the Michigan Lions All-State Band. The Lions provide a place for the Boy Scouts to meet, and each year contributes to the youth football program. An annual tradition of the Beaverton area is the Fourth of July Homecoming Celebration. The celebration culminates with the annual Fourth of July parade and fireworks; but, in between, a number of activities including kids’ games take place. The Lions provided the kids’ games for a number of years in the community.
For many years, the club has provided annual scholarships to deserving seniors from Beaverton and Gladwin High Schools and this year awarded $500 scholarships to two seniors at each school.
The Beaverton Lions Club values its relationship with the Leo Club and all young people in the community. As Lions International states: “Young people are a dynamic force for good. We’re more than a century into service and committed as ever to sustaining our impact over the next 100 years. That’s why we devote ourselves to serving youth as beneficiaries, youth as partners, and empowering youth as service leaders.”
Long-time Lion Scott Govitz said, “The Lions Club has long supported our youth and the Leo Club is a great example of kids loving their community and learning to give back.”