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Supporting the youth of our community in so many ways.

As part of Leo Awareness Month, we would like to take this opportunity to tell you a bit about how the Chester Lions Club supports the youth of our community, and how young adults can get involved.

Since its inception over 40 years ago, the Chester Lions Club has supported its community youth in a variety of ways. One of the biggest ways we support the kids is through our scholarship program. For most of the 40 years, the club has given out $20,000 towards higher education for our high school seniors each year. That totals over $750,000 to high school seniors since the club was founded! Each year we have approximately 80 applicants vying for the $1,000 in scholarship money, which is awarded to approximately 20 students from Chester, Long Valley and Mendham combined.

In addition to our scholarship program, the Chester Lions are proud to support the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of our community, including those who reach their highest honors within their respective organizations. So far this fiscal year, we are have recognized eight Eagle Scouts and Gold Star Recipients (Girl Scouts) within our community. Additionally, we have financially assisted young people through organizations including Daytop, Camp Marcella (a local camp for blind youth located in Rockaway), and others.

We have also had the pleasure of working one on one with some of the young adults from the community. When the Chester Lions Club Flea Market was in town, many high schoolers worked doing various jobs. Although the club no longer runs the flea market, we still have a great relationship working with young people. Over the last 14 years, we have been fortunate enough to have help from a number of volunteers who assist with various aspects of our annual Oktoberfest. These middle and high schoolers help us set up for the event, run various booths during the event, and even volunteer to assist with garbage collection over the weekend. They truly are a remarkable bunch of young people, and we are very grateful for all of their assistance.

Another way that we are looking to work with the kids of our community is through starting a Leo Club. Leadership. Experience. Opportunity. These are just a few of the rewards young people gain from participating in Leos. They also happen to be the values that create the acronym of the club name. A Leo Club is a place for young people to make a difference in their community and the world while they have fun, make new friends, and develop leadership skills. In total, more than 150,000 young people in 139 countries are proud to volunteer to serve others in their local communities and to call themselves Leos. These young community leaders are friendly, active and dedicated to creating new and exciting youth volunteer opportunities by participating in their local Leo clubs. Leo clubs provide youth volunteer opportunities – and are also a place to grow and have fun.

The Chester Lions Club is in the process of working with teens in Chester, Mendham and Long Valley to establish a Leo Club. The club will be aimed at young people between 13 and 18 years of age who want to give up some spare time to help others – and have a bit of fun at the same time. Interested students should contact Gerri LoSapio at chesterlionsclub@gmail.com

As always, please check us out at www.chesterlionsclub.com or visit us at our facebook page www.facebook.com/chesterlionsclubnj for more information about our events and how to get involved!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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