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Moreau Leo Club

By Simon Wong

Moreau Leo Club founder officers and members sign club charter

UNION CITY, Calif. -- Union City Lions Club is the proud sponsor of a Leo Club at Moreau Catholic High School, Hayward. Moreau Leo Club has approximately 25 members, thanks to the efforts of Charter President Freshman Krisel “Sam” Ong who was sworn-in with another officer and member before signing their club charter on Sunday, November 4, 2012 at Heritage Way, Union City.

The purpose of Leo Clubs is “to promote service activities among the youth of the community which will develop the individual qualities of Leadership, Experience and Opportunity. To unite its members in friendship, fellowship and mutual understanding.”

Jim Graver was an active member of the Glenside Lions Club and, with the help of William Ernst, another local Lion, chartered the first Leo club with 35 high school boys on December 5, 1957 at Abington High School, Pennsylvania, where Graver coached baseball. The Club adopted the high school's colors of maroon and gold and also created the acronym Leadership, Equality, Opportunity for the word “Leo.” Subsequently, Experience was substituted for the word Equality.

Leo members acquire Leadership skills as project organizers and motivators of their peers. Through Experience, they learn how teamwork and cooperation can bring about change in their community and the world. Leos have the Opportunity to develop positive character traits and receive recognition for their contributions.

In 1964, the Leo Club program became a sponsored program of the Lions district. Three years later, it had become an official youth program of Lions International with more than 200 clubs in 18 countries. By the end of 1968, the program had 918 clubs in 48 countries.

Today, the Leo movement has 150,000 members in 2,550 Alpha Clubs and 3,550 Omega Clubs in 138 countries. Alpha clubs, often school-based, focus on the individual and social development of teens aged 12-18 years. Omega clubs, usually community-based, focus on the personal and professional development of young adults aged 18-30 years.

“Union City Lions Club welcomes Moreau Leos,” stated the installing officer, Lions Club President [retired Union City Police Chief] Greg Stewart. “The Lions Club is a great organization and I’m happy that I became involved. Our motto is “We Serve.” Community service is our cornerstone; we try to do the best we can by the people we serve. As Leos, you will serve, too. Many of the Lions’ activities are possible only with your help. It speaks volumes to your character that you should be interested in serving the community. I commend you. One of the greatest things you can do in this life is serve your fellow man; we all need help at one time or another. We all have a duty to try and make this world and our community better. This is what the Leos and Lions try to do. Those who are freshmen can look forward to an enjoyable four years.”

Stewart installed Anthony Wu as a member, Gabi Blanch, as Vice President (VP) and Sam Ong as Charter President. Other officers and members were unable to attend and will be installed in a separate ceremony.

“On behalf of the officers and members, I welcome you to the Moreau Leos Club. You’ve been invited to become a member and we’re all happy and proud of your decision to accept. Membership is a privilege. You’re about to enter a world-wide program that began in 1967 as an official activity of the Lions Club International. Leos’ goals include high moral standards, personal responsibility, an attitude of cheerfulness and understanding and extending a helping hand to those in need. Now, in your community and with your acquaintances, a series of challenges awaits. You are not alone in your efforts; you can always count on the encouragement and cooperation of your fellow Leo Club members, officers and Leo Club Advisor Lion Helen Kennedy. They’ll gladly help you achieve the high goals which you’ve adopted. Once again, congratulations on joining this Club. Please raise your right hand and repeat the Obligation of Membership.”

“I, Anthony Wu, in the presence of the members of the Leo Club, take on this solemn obligation to abide by the constitution and by-laws of the Club, to attend all meetings and contribute my fair share towards the financial support of the Club. I further declare that I will assist in maintaining, building and strengthening the Club’s membership, that I shall help the Club by actively serving on committees and in other capacities where my efforts are needed and, finally, that I shall develop in myself those qualities of cheerfulness, service and loyalty which should characterize a Leo Club member at all times.”

Vice President Gabi Blanch will occupy the position of President if the incumbent cannot perform his/her duties. In this event, the VP has the same authority as the President and will fulfill that role accordingly. The VP will also help the President by fostering unity among Leo Club members with the sponsoring Lions Club and Leo Club Advisor. The VP also assists and supports the President’s initiatives for service projects.

President Sam Ong is the chief executive officer of the Moreau Leo Club. The President must foster unity among Club members, work with the sponsoring Lions Club, Leo Club Advisor, preside at all meetings, be the chairperson of the board of directors, ensure all committees function properly, call regularly for committee reports and oversee regular elections. The President also determines service needs in the community and motivates Club members to respond generously.

“You’ve made an excellent decision. Our guest Cindy Nguyen, Logan Leo Club President, can vouch for that,” said Helen Kennedy, Leo Club Advisor for the Union City Lions Club and who is also an alumna of the first class of girls at Moreau and member of the Class of ’73 with Stewart. “Charter members must build the Club in addition to undertaking community service. Your names’ inclusion on the Charter is very special. Our clubs enjoy longevity and founding members are recorded in their histories in perpetuity. The Union City Lions Club charter is 50-years old; though we might not know them personally, we respect and remember the founding members who established the tradition of community service in Union City. Legend has it that the water damage on it arose when the Charter President, who was the Fire Chief at the time, rescued it from a burning building; that’s how important this document it is. The Logan Leo Club, founded with fewer than 25 James Logan High School students, is 30-years old and now has more than 200 members; their charter is displayed on special occasions, too.”

The Moreau Leo Club charter also bears Katrina Sison’s signature. Sison completed the administrative work late last year as Organizing President with the help of then Leo Advisor Lion Gloria Watson. Unfortunately, there was little time left to recruit members. In the summer, Kennedy mentioned the new Leo Club to friends whose daughter, Sam Ong, was keen to be involved.

Nguyen has been a Leo for four years and is sharing her experience with Ong. Moreau and Logan Leo Clubs plan to make more than 600 cards to bring festive cheer to Washington Hospital patients who will not be discharged before Christmas.

Moreau students interested in joining the Moreau Leo Club should contact Krisel “Sam” Ong.

For more information about Lions and Leo Clubs, visit

(l-r) Union City Lions Club President Greg Stewart, Anthony Wu (charter member, Moreau Leo Club), Gabi Blanch (charter Vice President, Moreau Leo Club), Sam Ong (charter President, Moreau Leo Club), Cindy Nguyen (President, Logan Leo Club), Leo Club Advisor Union City Lion Helen Kennedy, Heritage Way, Union City, November 4, 2012. Photo by Simon Wong.

Founding members of Moreau Leo Club with Leo Club Advisor: (l-r) member Anthony Wu, Vice President Gabi Blanch, Leo Club Advisor Union City Lion Helen Kennedy, President Krisel “Sam” Ong, Heritage Way, Union City, November 4, 2012. Photo by Simon Wong.

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