Rome Leos mark five years of service

Published Jun 4, 2018 at 4:00pm

It’s always gratifying to see young people volunteer their time and talents to the betterment of the community or to individuals who need some help. so we applaud this week the Rome Lions Leo Club at RFA, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

Leos now constitute an international network of over 6,500 clubs in over 140 countries since their inception in 1957, according to their website (

The group’ s motto LEO stands for Leadership, Experience and Opportunity. But LEO also stands for “Let’s Enjoy Ourselves” in the sense that service is not only rewarding but fun as well.

Coach Jim Graver started the Leo ball rolling in 1957 and chances are that ball was a baseball. Graver was the baseball coach of the Abington High School in Pennsylvania, USA and an active member of the Glenside Lions Club. With help from his fellow Lion, William Ernst, the first Leo club was charted on December 5, 1957.

As the world’s first Leo club, the Abington High School Leo Club created the Leo acronym – Leadership, Equality, Opportunity – and chose their school colors, maroon and gold to serve as the Leo club colors.Later, Equality was changed to Experience.

In October 1967, the board of directors of Lions Clubs International adopted the Leo Club Program as an official program of the association.

The Leo Club Program has continued to grow within the last 50 years. Community service remains the cornerstone of the program, fostering a lifetime commitment to helping others.

The RFA Leos were recently at the Rome Memorial Hospital nursing home facility entertaining the clients by playing games, helping to polish fingernails, and serving various desserts and coffee.