Leos lend a helping hand

Pictured above Kimberly Francisco, Cindy Lopez, Alexandra Pedro, Magda Francisco, Andre and his family, FPHS LEO Club advisor, SFC (ret.) Joseph Maks, and Guadalupe Andres. 

Members of the Fort Payne High School LEO Club gathered Thursday afternoon to present a $1,000 check the Ailon family whose house burned in early September.

The LEO Club is a youth organization that branches from the Fort Payne Lions Club. According to FPHS LEO Club advisor, SFC (ret.), the acronym “LEO” stands for leadership, experience, and opportunity. He said LEO clubs encourage youths to develop leadership qualities by participating in social service activities.

Maks said Thursday that after learning of the Ailon family, unfortunately, losing their home in a fire, and after seeing the pictures of the damage, they reached out to the family offering their help.

“I know they are going through a rough time. Some of the students and members said ‘Hey, what can we do for this family’,” said Maks.

He said they decided to raise some money for the family,who have two children that attend Williams Avenue Elementary School, one in Wills Valley Elementary and one more on the way.

“The Lions Club was kind enough to give up their Boom Days fundraiser and give it to us,” Maks said.

According to Maks, on top of that, they provided the food that was sold at their Boom Days fundraiser.

“We sold barbecue sandwiches, chips, and drinks,” he said.

Maks said throughout the year they have spoken about leadership, the value of honor and academics, but most of all, about community service.

Providing selfless service, “It’s not about you; it’s about somebody else,” he said.

“We just got reimbursed from the city, and I am really proud of everybody that was involved that helped support the fundraiser,” Maks said to his audience of members.

The father, Andres Ailon, expressed his gratitude and support to the FPHS LEO Club for their efforts and contributions.

According to Maks, FPHS LEO Club currently has around 98 active members this year.

“We focused a lot of our time on community service projects and or activities,” said Maks.

Maks said he loves helping people in the state, county, and, most of all, the local community.

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