by Meglin Bodner
If you haven’t already heard of the LEO club at Branford High, then you’ll be surprised at the benefits it carries. Many people looking for community service hours can find them by joining the LEO club. Another benefit that comes from being involved is helping others who cannot see. As a member of the LEO club, I can proudly say that we are a pretty active club.
Every year, we go to a lot of places and do a variety of different things. One of the first events that we participate in each year is the Christmas Party at the Yacht Club near Branford Point. Children or grand-children of LIONS club members, the larger organization that the LEO club sprouts off of, spend an evening there doing all kinds of activities. Members of the LEO club help them with these activities. We also play games such as red light green light with them. After the games and activities are finished, we help Santa pass out presents. The Christmas Party is about 2 hours of community service.
A lot of the LEO club is dedicated to fundraising for the blind. We make chocolate and sell it at La Luna to a group of LIONS members who hold their yearly dinner there. When the Pops concert comes around, here at school, we sell baked goods. Also, the club has been very successful when selling snow cones at the Branford Festival in past years.
The biggest event for LEO club is visiting Fidelco – a place where guide dogs are trained to “be the eyes” of a blind person. Last year was the first time I went and it was very interesting. There were booths set up that had activities everyone to try. One booth had a bowl of coins and I had to pick up some and count them with a blindfold on. I had to decide how much I had taken only by the feel of the coins. Afterwards, I took the blindfold off and counted what I had. The next booth had boxes with items in them that were not visible and had to be figured out by touch. There was also a booth that explained the different types of eye diseases. They even had glasses that I put on to see how a person with a particular eye disease sees their surroundings. The advisor, Mrs. Cartisano, and I took a tour around where the dogs stay. I put on a blindfold and was led around by a guide dog. Every year $1,000 that the LEO club has collected is donated to the Fidelco Company.
The LEO club does a lot of fun things. You can too if you join! We do even more fundraisers and attend more events than the ones I mentioned. LEO club meets every other Monday each month after school in F 01 in the library. You will be able to help a lot of people by taking part in this club.
Think about if you were blind and needed someone to “be your eyes” so that you could live a better life. Would you be happy that people are donating money to raise guide dogs that you might someday get?