Lyons LEO Club Happenings
By Grayson Thomas, Georgia Barone, and Sierra Tucker
It has been a busy year for the Lyons Lions LEO Club, our community’s first teen-run civic organization which operates under the Lions Club International. Our mission is to encourage youth involvement in the community by providing leadership and teamwork experiences through volunteer opportunities. On average we have 12 to 15 youth attending our meetings and 15 to 20 attending our service projects. Here are a few of our latest endeavors.
Our two largest projects to date involved snow removal, fire mitigation, and yard clean up for a local resident. A major snow storm blew in the day of our first project, so we changed from weeding to snow removal working side by side with Ameri Corp volunteers. Three hours on site resulted in over 45 person-hours. We then returned later with that month with 15 students from Colorado State University’s Rotaract Club, an international volunteer and leadership program at the collegiate level, sponsored by the Rotary Club. These college rotarians drove down to Lyons from Ft. Collins in order to aid the LEO members, not only in work, but also in advice. They shared their experiences about college and future goals with the members, while exemplifying a worthwhile college experience. The two clubs mixed and formed groups to tackle jobs such as brush clearing, waste disposal, and general yard maintenance.
Sophomore LEO club member and Jr Vice President, Owen Grace commented, “It was a great opportunity to serve the community and meet others who have the same passion for helping others.” Five hours of LEO and Rotaract cooperation translated into an estimated 120 person-hours and a very thankful resident. The day ended with a superb lunch sponsored by Lyons Volunteers and Smokin Daves and a productive day of partnership. Various LEO members continue to be active at the Lyons Depot Library for drop-in volunteering and LEOs and anyone interested in helping the library are encouraged to stop by.
Upcoming volunteer projects for May and June include: Mother Hubbard Fundraiser, Saturday, May 7th 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.; LEO Club Meeting and Election of Officers, Tuesday, May 31st; Landscaping for Loveland Habitat for Humanity, Thursday, June 2nd; Flood Clean Up and LEO Club Picnic sponsored by Terry Parrish and Parrish Ranch - Sunday, June 5th - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; the Lyons Film Festival Friday June 3rd-Sunday 5th; and the LCF Hometown Hoedown, June 19th. We have tons of fun while making difference and are always seeking new members. The Lyons LEO Club is sponsored by our local Lyons Lions Club and is open to youth who are high school freshmen thru age 18 years. We welcome anyone with a desire to help others and benefit the greater community. If you’re interested in becoming a member contact one of our members or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in the Redstone Review May 2016
Lyons has long cherished its reputation of being a community of artists, musicians, and creative people. As a town of roughly 2000 residents, we are fortunate to have our own world-class music and festival venue Planet Bluegrass, host nationally known concert acts such as the ones at the Lyons Outdoor Games June 4, support a top-notch dance studio Mayama Movement Studio, and have opened a new art gallery Western Stars Gallery/Studio this year. Live music by world class musicians, many of whom actually live here, can be heard in any number of local restaurant venues several nights every week. Incredible artwork hangs on the walls of our eateries and coffee shops. Lyons is fortunate to not only have a high concentration of these “art centric” residents, but locals are working hard to reinforce our reputation as an art destination.
There have been challenges for the art community in Lyons in recent years, notably the lack of affordable housing. The Flood disproportionately affected many of our artists in residence. While there is no eminent solution for this roadblock, the expressed desire to work towards the goal of more affordable housing stock is expressly stated by local residents and government officials.
Supporting the arts has always been a tenant of the Lyons Community Foundation’s mission to enhance the quality of life in the greater Lyons area. In 2015, LCF allocated over $16,000 or more than a third of its Community Support Granting to support art-based projects and events in town. The Lyons Film Festival was able to successfully launch last summer with some assistance from LCF and is returning for a second run June 3-5. The three- day festival will highlight the rich talent in local film making, music and art and will coincide with Lyons Outdoor Games festivities. The Sandstone Summer Concerts Series, a popular free program put on by the Town of Lyons Parks and Recreation Department, would likely not happen without LCF’s annual support. The Lyons Clarifier Community Art Project was completed in 2015 after granting helped continue its 10 year journey. Chase the Music a local non-profit that coordinates original music compositions for critically ill children, was also a 2015 grantee.
The Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission (LAHC) has been a benefactor of LCF’s Community Support Grants for years. Historically, this group has produced events in town such as the Art Walk, art shows in Town Hall and commissioning the public art installations visible throughout downtown Lyons. The LAHC led by Chrystal DeCoster and Betsy Hubner has been very active as of late, helping to launch Lyons Last Thursdays/Art Stroll. This is a collaborative effort between LAHC, The Lyons Economic Development Commission, the Town of Lyons, The Lyons Chamber of Commerce and various business entities.
The idea is to get visitors and locals to “Linger Longer” in town, enjoying the venues that promote local art and music and to provide increased tourist traffic and benefit all area merchants economically. Participating businesses plan to offer extended hours and a voucher program offering buying discounts. The first of this series will launch on May 26th and will occur on the last Thursday of the month through September.
The LAHC also recently championed a group of students in their quest to bring a commissioned art piece to Lyons Elementary as their 5th grade legacy project. Local artist and environmentalist Coco Gordon has provided her own unique contribution to the art community and LCF. She hosts a creative project called Artbox Stylista roughly every other month for which she collects contributions that she donates to LCF. All of these various efforts are a great of example of the power of combining a variety of resources with our own residents’ enthusiasm for enriching our community through art.
The Lyons Community Foundations exists to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving and encourage positive change in the greater Lyons Area. We serve as a catalyst for connecting people who care with important projects in our community. For more information on any of our art-centric grantees or the variety of other community based funded projects for 2015, visit www.lyonscf.org/community-support.
Benjamin's "Music Breaking Barriers" Project.
A Concert of Hope
Chase the Music, a local non-profit founded and operated by Lyons area resident Clark Hodge, will be hosting “A Concert of Hope,” a free concert with a collaborative group of talented vocalists who will perform on Saturday May 28, at 2 p.m., at the Manhattan Middle School Auditorium in Boulder, Colorado, to offer Hope to Benjamin, and all those who are afflicted with autism.
Benjamin Tarasewicz, leader of the group, has autism. It was with an active, loving mother, who used music in her son’s therapy, that Benjamin progressed from being non-verbal to becoming an award winning public speaker, who recently gave a TEDx talk, “Breaking Barriers of Autism: the Power of Kindness and Friendship.”
This performance is an a cappella group of friends, and recent graduates of Fairview High School who know that music can have healing powers. The concert event features hits such as My Girl, Unchained Melody, songs by Billy Joel, and more. The highlight of the event will be the world-premiere of a special choral composition, “Hope,” commissioned for Benjamin and dedicated to families living with autism. “My wish is,” says Benjamin, “where people break down barriers, and create something amazing.”
The concert is for all ages, and is sensory-friendly. Those dealing with autism and other disabilities are particularly invited, and can expect a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. To get your free tickets, please go to: https://chasethemusic-hope.eventbrite.com.
Chase the Music is a local non-profit organization, that helps children battling critical illness by having original music composed and performed for them. To get more information at Chase the Music, please go to: http://chasethemusic.org.
Article appeared in the Lyons Recorder
Lyons Community Foundation