Last Tuesday evening, the Yorktown Lions and Leos came together for their annual Installation Dinner. Held at the Yorktown Firehouse, the clubs feasted on delicious foods while discussing the various events from the past year.
Speeches were given by the current president, Meghan McGowan, incoming president, Joey Cirone, beloved club adviser Al Avitabile and myself (Kristen Burke).
Following the speeches, it was time for the incoming cabinet and board members to be inducted. Following tradition, the corresponding Lion member has the responsibility to swear in the Leo to their new position.
Being in the Leo Club for so long, I had a lot to say about my experiences. Below is my speech with my thoughts on my time in the club.
I first joined the Leo club in 7th grade when my mom found a newspaper article about it in the paper and wanted me to get involved. That's right; I've had to put up with Mr. A whole heartily teasing me for five whole years. His antics of kissing me on the head in front of the whole club and teasing me about texting him so often aside, this club has truly changed my life. I know that may sound corny, but I am very thankful to the Leo Club and Mr. A.
When I first joined as a 7th grader, I was absolutely terrified. The "big" seniors intimidated me. I didn't know anyone in the club, so I sat at the meeting in silence. I learned about the next upcoming event, the Seabury Fall Festival and my mom decided for me that I would go. It was after the event, that my outlook on Leos changed.
I thought that community service would be boring and uneventful, especially since I didn't talk to anyone in the club. I remember working with a bunch of the older kids in the club at the event and having a great time. A important part about the Leo Club is that differences are blurred. Age and what school you attend isn't an issue in this club. Everyone is here to help each other and the organizations. We are unified as being Leos. I felt very welcomed and included in everything I did.
I've evolved as a person through my time with the club. As I said, I didn't talk much- Mr. A probably wishes this was still true sometimes. I didn't like speaking to adults or in front of large groups. At this time in my life, also didn't have an idea of what I wanted to pursue in life. My time in this club changed all that. After being elected Public Relations manager, I found my calling. I absolutely love PR and am looking forward to majoring in it at Oswego in the fall. I am very comfortable speaking to almost anybody and have greatly improved my communication skills. Although I still get a little nervous doing public speaking, I'm able to do it.
I am also extremely proud of the club through our work with The Music Makes A Difference, Concert For Cancer. I never saw this event becoming a huge success four years ago when we started it. Without the support of the club, past presidents, and Kathy Quinn, none of this would have been possible. It makes me proud and happy to know this event will live on after I leave the club; I can't wait to see how great of a job Brittany Figueroa will do next year.
So in conclusion, I'd like to say thank you. Thank you to Mr. A for always believing in me and my wild ideas, and pushing me out of my comfort zones to be successful. Thank you to everyone in the club for being not only supporters, but great friends. I hope everyone in the club gains something from their time in the club like I did. Never underestimate yourselves, your ideas, and the value of giving someone your time, effort and a smile.