A point of view about Leo Lion double membership

Leo and Lion Juan Manuel “Pollo” Cáceres
Leo Advisory Panelist 2017-2019
Constitutional Area III

Background information
Taking a double membership, being a Leo and a Lion at the same time, gives the opportunity for current and former Leos, who have been a Leo for at least a year and a day, to make a gradual transition to becoming a Lion. This would allow them to slowly leave behind the Leo Brand and feel more comfortable with the Lions one. In my point of view, it’s a potential opportunity for those 26 years old or older Leos who have had the opportunity to serve as district and/or multiple district officers, so maybe they don´t have so much leadership opportunities at the Leo Program   but they are very passionate about the program and feel part of the institution.

We should acknowledge the existence of a generational distance between Leos and Lions, which sometimes gets in the way of a good relationship and understanding from both sides. Considering the high average age of Lions, it makes it difficult and less attractive for 25 to 31 year olds to join directly (without being a Leo previously). Leos in this age range have an invaluable knowledge that is really valuable and it would be important to keep in the program. The key is to find a way for them to share back that knowledge. However, currently it is difficult for them to find a role from which they could contribute, especially if they had previously already held leadership positions and are now not offered similar possibilities..

On the other hand, Lions need young visions and who better to provide them other than Leos? Most of them have joined the program 8 to 10 years ago and possess incredible knowledge about the Leo Program, the Lions Club institution, of formal management and mainly (and for me most importantly) the experience of human management. They serve as advisers for both Leos and Lions. Therefore, we should strive to promote cooperation of teams composed by Leos and Lions both internally and externally, as this would attract new potential young candidates.

Enhancing the inclusion of young people, is what allows us as an institution to project ourselves into the future and better understand the reality of our current community.

Being double membership allows a Leo to continue enjoying that “Leo passion”, working and participating at Leo events in that particular and flexible way that characterizes and motivates Leo members. This way, they can keep that “Leo fire” burning, but are gradually increasing their level of participation on Lionism.

The “risks” of double membership, as any policy, program or plan, is the human behavior itself of misrepresenting and misusing the image of double membership for other purposes that are not the growth and improvement of the institution. In this meaning, we need to mention the occurances of “conflicts of interests”. In my view, a possible conflict of interest could arise if a member holds a decision making position in both Leo and Lion movements simultaneously. For example, if you are still a Leo, being a Lion member at the same time you cannot be a Lion Club President, District/ Multiple District Leo Chairperson, Leo Club Advisor, Zone Chairperson, District Governor. And from the other side (Leo Program) I understand you could not hold a position in a Board of Directors (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer) at any Leo level, Leo Club, Leo District/ Multiple Leo District. On my understanding do not represent a problem those merely administrative or coordinating Cabinet positions.

Being a Leo and a Lion member at the same time is not a real problem, the main worry for the organization is to be able to see what is “behind the curtain” and visualize the potential that it has in terms of being attractive for extremely valuable partners. Thinking about those Leos, who for reasons of age must leave the Leo Program in the near future, we should offer them the opportunity to continue serving in the organization that saw and helped them grow in community leadership. We must improve the Leo goal “leading for life” and this gives an opportunity for Lions to demonstrate that the “for life” part could be achieved in Lionism.

Formal things
1- The Leo to Lion transition program is a Lions Club affiliation program, that offers current and former Leos, above the age of legal majority and below the age of 30 and who have been as Leo for at least a year and a day, to join an existing Lions Club or charter a new Lions Club, giving them Credit for Leo years of service, an entrance fee waiver and International dues discount through the age of 30.
2- The Leo Club membership ends either once the person reaches the age of 31, by their own decision or by the decision of their club.
3- “Leo-Lion” does not refer by itself to the person possessing a double membership, instead it refers to the Lions transition program, and thus about the membership type as many others (e.g. regular member, family member, student member)

The Leo to Lion transition program makes it possible for those current Leos between 18 and 31 years old to join a Lion Club and remain affiliated with the Leo Club.

It’s not mandatory for the Leo to give up their membership in their Leo Club to apply for the Leo to Lion transition program. Considering that a requirement to join a Lions Club is to be over 18 and membership in a Leo Club ends when the person turns 31, it is nowhere specified that the Leo Club affiliation ends if the person joins a Lions Club.

When the Leo to Lion transition program was originally created approximately 10 years ago, there was no thought of the possibility of having a double membership. This is the reason why the “ll2form” speaks of “ex Leo under 30” or “ex Leo over 30”, This form has been the same and has not been revised in recent years.

In the meantime the double membership has become popular mainly in Constitutional Area III (Latin America and the Caribbean) and VI (India, Asia, Africa and the Middle East). Where applied, it is encouraged to further develop and formalize the double membership. Meanwhile, as it is not stated otherwise, the International Board of Directors in its November 2017 meeting decided on a recommendation on the issue in which it leaves to each District’s freedom whether or not they accept double memberships.

That said, in the same way as at the international level, under the criteria that what is not prohibited is allowed, as long as Districts do not specifically regulate it, double memberships would be allowed. In this regard we can see that there are Leo-Lions with double memberships in the countries that have already adopted the program, such as Uruguay, Perú, Argentina, India, Egypt.

To finish, let me introduce Leo Multiple District “J” (Uruguay) Past Presidents,

Being a Leo                            Being a Lion
(having fun)                            (trying to look serious)

(L to R) Me, f.y 2014-2015. Fernando Plachicoff, f.y. 2013-2014. Ana Belo Aita, f.y. 2012-13 Federico Silva, f.y. 2011-2012.

We all Leo and Lion joining Montevideo Ansina Leo Club and Montevideo Ansina Lions Club.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
Let’s adjust our sails and navigate towards the future together!

Click here for the Spanish version

Leos offer help to the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund

For the 5th year in a row, Leo Club Mid Sweden arranges a “Walk for Cancer” on May 29th, 2018, where the participants can walk, run, crawl, sprint and race around a 5km track, all for the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund. The track goes through the wonderful village Fränsta, just a few kilometers from the geographical center of Sweden, whereas the last part of the tracks runs along the beach side of Torp lake (Torpsjön). The large amounts of snow during the winter lead to the flooding of the beach, and it was not sure whether the track could follow its original course. Fortunately, summer arrived early and the sun caused the beach to dry. Leo Club Mid Sweden hopes for a large number of participants and wonderful weather!

Written by Johanna Strand, treasurer Leo Club Mid Sweden.

Warm-up with “Norrskenshälsan”.

A group of happy participants at the start.

“Best man and woman 2018. Jlööf gym sponsored with one-month membership for each.


LEO 60th celebration in Paris

How does it feel to be part of an amazing, international, warm family?

Having recently moved to Belgium, I couldn’t have ignored the invitation of my dear friend Xavier to join him for a very special Leo event in Paris. Before even thinking twice, train tickets are bought and everything is arranged: Paris, I am coming!Old friends, new faces: all together to celebrate our 60th birthday in the very special Leo way.

After a coffee and a croissant (so French!!) we were ready for the first activity of our rich program: a tour of Les Invalides. Here we had the chance to visit Napoleon’s grave and the related museum. The sunshine let us appreciate even more the beauty of this impressing French monument. In the afternoon, we had the chance to visit the French National Assembly, with an exclusive private guided tour. The amazing library, the paintings from Delacroix, the salle des Séances… everything was astonishing, and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. The day has been closed in the best possible way: an amazing dinner all together! The food and wine were amazing (yeah, the French do pretty good in this regard!) but what made the evening so special was the atmosphere: I hadn’t laughed so much in ages! I’ve joined international Leo events many times, but it still amazes me to see how people from different countries and cultures can get along so harmoniously. It must be the magic of Leos…!Saturday has been a very special day, since we had our social activity and the gala dinner.

Visiting monuments and enjoying food is nice, but never forget our aim: where are here to serve! Our social activity was one of a kind: we could play blind baseball. As Leos, we are involved in a number of activities in favour of blind people, and I believe that giving them the opportunity to play sports and have fun is very important. That being said, have you ever tried to run blindfolded? Well, I can tell you, it is super tough (and also super funny, when you watch your friends doing it!). After a short training, we could also play an entire match with some members of this special team.

Back to the hotel -and completely soaked because of a spring storm- it was time to wear our gala clothes! During the dinner we had chance to meet other members of the Leo Club Paris Rive Droite as well as some Lions, and enjoy their company.

As always, nice things are always too short, and the end of this amazing weekend arrived too fast. But not before having a last toast all together during a cosy brunch at Xavier’s apartment. After the brunch, it was time to go back to our home (or adoptive) countries… à bientôt, Paris!

I opened this short article with an open question. After reading about our Leo weekend in Paris, I think you can agree with me: it feels terrific!

See you soon for the next Leo adventure!!

Giulia Martino
MD Leo 108 Italy

The new International Leo Club Amsterdam

The Leo Club is a place full of opportunities. A place where you can find friends, where you share the same ideas on the world. A place where people want to make a difference. Where you can discuss about your plans and you can make dreams come true. Where you learn about other people’s lives and where you can take responsibility for your surroundings.

When we all came to Amsterdam in the last months, everything was new to us. We dived into a completely new culture, we met new people coming from all over the world and we had to get used to our new home and our new surroundings. We were curious about our life in Amsterdam and we didn’t know what we can expect from it. Thanks to our job or our university we found new friends very quickly but there was still the wish to volunteer, to do something good and to have a small, but helpful impact on our surroundings.

When the two former members of the Leo Club Amsterdam, Pieter and Kevin, started the initiative to build a new international Leo Club in Amsterdam, the interest in joining this club was big. But after several meetings we had to notice the difficulty to establish a club with a steadily interested group. Reconciling school, your free time activities and your job is not always easy.

In March, we finally launched the first International Leo Club Amsterdam. We are a group of 13 people who is ready to serve the local community. We come from eight countries all over the world. We all have different backgrounds and everybody has his or her own story to tell. But we have one thing in common. We want to volunteer! We want to make a difference and help to build a better life around us. We all share the same ideas about integrity, community and volunteering.

Since the end of March, we can proudly present our new board which is ready to manage our club in the next months. In the last two months, we have already organised our first activities to help the local communities. Our very first project was the reshaping of the garden of a local children’s farm. At the beginning of April, we cleaned up one of the big parks in Amsterdam, together with the Dutch Leo Club Amsterdam.  It was the first very sunny day this year and we all enjoyed the opportunity to get in contact with the local Dutch Leos.

Twice a month we meet up and discuss about our further plans. We have so many ideas in our minds and we are looking forward to planning many more activities. If you share our vision to have an helpful impact on our local community and to do something good in Amsterdam, we would love to welcome you on board! Let’s make our dreams come true!

Written by Janna
International Leo Club Amsterdam
The Netherlands

LEO Seminar Day in the Netherlands

This year LEO Club Leiden  organized the Dutch LEO Seminar Day 2018. This day,which is meant to meet and to acquire knowledge and inspiration, took place on March 24, 2018 at the Rabobank in Leiden. The day was all about sustainability, a subject that we all have to deal with. The goal of the day was awareness of a sustainable environment.

The first speaker was Paul Dirkse, the alderman for the sustainability of the D66 political party. In a beautiful story, he highlighted how Leiden as a city contributes for a cleaner environment. He talked about subjects like wind and solar energy. Problems with a nostalgic and monumental city such as Leiden were also discussed. A monumental city like Leiden can’t simply place solar panels on the old buildings in the city center.

After the opening, Merijn Tinga,  also known as the plastic soup surfer from Leiden, gave a presentation. He is an artist who works against plastic pollution. Merijn told his story about how his passion became his goal. He discussed how he made a surfboard from “stray” plastic and made an impressive journey to collect money and how he got the ministry to approve a bill about a deposit on small plastic bottles.

Next it was Suzanne Kröger, second member of parliament at Groen Links, gave a presentation. She told us about her career in a bird’s-eye view. She started at Green Peace, for which she did projects around the world. After this she got a job in the political party of Groen Links where she is committed to sustainability. She is involved in the reducing of emission by aircraft, among other things.

The last speaker  was Andreas Vejlstrup, a LEO from Denmark (Copenhagen). He is fully committed to the LEO4Green movement. This is a LEO movement initialised  by Leo’s from Italy and later recognized as a European Leo activity. The aim of this activity is to raise the awareness of the beauty of the environment to a higher goal. This is done by organizing activities such as cleaning parks and beaches, planting new trees, collecting money for agencies or organizing lectures. After his presentation, all present LEO clubs sign the so-called LEO4Green manifesto in which you declare, as a club that you support the LEO4Green project.

After these motivating speakers, the deed was added to the word and the present LEO’s went to the city center  to clean the city of stray trash. The LEO’s ended the seminar day with a nice diner in the city center of Leiden.


A Leo Club in Luxembourg is supporting a Cancer Foundation!

This year again, members of the Leo Club Feierwon in Luxembourg were present to support the Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner (help & support for children fighting cancer in Luxembourg) during the very famous Relais pour la Vie (organised by the Fondation Cancer) on the 24th and 25th of March.

This was an evening filled with emotions, speeches from survivors and relatives, a touching note from our Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, and a truly magnificent standing ovation from all participants during the cancer survivors parade.

Poldi, the mascot and distinct element of the Foundation, brought a cheerful note to this evening by claiming lots of smiles and laughs from everyone who met him. He never stopped jumping and dancing during the Foundation’s parade on the running track. Obviously, countless people left the event with pictures and selfies with Poldi!

Leo Club Feierwon is regularly helping the foundation with their fundraising activities, as well as their communication initiatives towards child cancer research. All Leos are looking forward to the next event with the Foundation, as well as future events with each one of the associations that they are supporting!

For more information on the event: http://www.relaispourlavie.lu/
For more information on Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner: http://fondatioun.lu/
For more information on Leo Club Feierwon: www.leo.lu


Between January 26th and January 28th 2018 I, along with other 80 Leos from all over Europe, got to participate to LEPF2018.

It has been wonderful.

It is always nice to get the chance to meet friends and Visegraad offered a beautiful surrounding for this meeting. I was sad that I forgot my swimsuit, because the swimming pool looked quite inviting, but the hotel offered so many other entertainment choices that I was not sad for long (the bowling alley was quite unexpected, but very welcome).

We need also to talk about the Program: who did not love the ice breaking activities? They were hilarious and it was great to see how the Las Vegas Theme had been incorporated into them!

My favourite one was for sure the toilet paper game. It was hard to guess what it was for at the beginning, but it was a quick way to get to know someone else, that’s for sure! Dora, from the Orga-Team, did an awesome job in energetically hosting the night!

The Vegas party itself was a blast and there was more than one wedding that night: when Simone from my delegation married his beer (is that even allowed? Well, welcome to Vegas baby!) I could have died from how funny it was.

As an ILO, fun aside, the thing I was looking forward the most was also our face-to-face meeting. As some may know, as ILOs, we work for the most part of the year through monthly meetings online and we get to meet in person (officially) only twice a year at LEPF and LEF. Hungarian Leos and Lions made us feel extremely welcome, lending us a nice meeting room in the middle of Budapest to have our morning meeting on Saturday. We missed some truly amazing activities, but it was great to work together and we ended up having an extremely productive morning during which also our beautiful Leo4Green video was shoot (you can see it on our FB page European Leos or Leo4Green – European Activity).

Then there was lunch. Now, as an Italian I love tasty food and I was not disappointed! I cannot wait to be back to get some more galuska (also called nodekli). It was truly delicious (if anyone got the recipe, please send it to me!)

In the afternoon, I finally got the chance to roam around Budapest. Unlike many other participants, it was my first time in the city and the beautiful sights stunned me. The Parliament is definitely an impressive building and the Danube River is just beautiful. In addition, our guides (other members of an #HUNFORGETTABLE Orga-Team) had all kind of stories to tell us that made the trip all the more interesting! I think the most shocking one was the one of the artist that created the statues on one of the bridges of the city that bragged about having sculpted the perfect lions. He suicided after discovering he had made them with an open mouth and forgot to sculpt them the tongue (weird story all right, probably why it stuck in my brain!).

Then came the magic kingdom party that was, well, pure magic. We were sent back to the middle ages with all kind of characters coming out (Vikings and princesses, village fools and kings!) and a beautiful visit to the Royal palace present in Visegraad.

Just amazing.

Now, you might be wondering why I am here with an hour by hour telling (more or less) of a beautiful weekend. The answer is easy: because soon it will be possible to book LEF2018! So be ready on April 7th if you do not want to miss an incredible experience, such as the one above, in the week from August 25th to September 1st!

Once again a big thank you to the Orga-Team 2018 for having organized an amazing LEPF2018 and best of luck for LEF2018! See you in Visegraad!


– Eleonora Fresia, ILO MD 108 ITALY

LEO Clubs of Estonia – small but busy

This article is from the German Leo Life magazine.

The last few years have been busy for Estonian LEOs, there are only 5 Clubs of us but we still manage to do a lot and keep the people around us happy. Year 2016 was exceptionally exciting for us since for the first time we organized Leo Europa Forum which was held in a beautiful sea-side city called Pärnu, located in South-Estonia. The slogan of LEF2016 – “one country, many stories” served well its purpose since people often don’t know much about Estonia so it was our pleasure to introduce the beauty and tales of our country to other LEOs. During LEF we learned a lot about Estonian culture by visiting different cities, spending the night with traditional Estonian folk-dancers and helping the environment by cleaning the beach from trash. This event worked so well that the Lions of Estonia are now organizing the Lions Europa Forum 2019 in our capital city Tallinn and they have kindly asked us to help them by organizing workshops and city tours.

Last year Estonian LEOs in collaboration with Lions and an Estonian eyewear store we started a project called “Eyes are the window of the heart”. Within this activity we have an eye-doctor who helps us to visit schools around Estonia to check the eyes of young school kids who haven’t been or don’t have a chance to visit a doctor that often. So far, we have managed to check almost 400 eye pairs and keep on going.

Another bigger project which includes all LEO’s is our yearly district project, this time – a car orientation game. It is held in different locations all around Estonia and with the money we collect we help volunteer rescuers to buy expensive necessary equipment that they need in everyday bases.  There have been already four of those kinds of events and as long as we have people who are interested in doing good the car orientation is continuing throughout the year.

Next to the club-based projects, we have joined the European Activity –  Leo4Green with the whole district. All of our clubs signed the manifesto and are dedicated to organize green projects. Some examples include donating money received from recycled bottles to unprivileged children and helping elderly with gardening works. World Clean Up Day 2018 is also an Estonian initiative which we hope to join in Autumn together with our Lions clubs.

-Marta Suitslepp, Member of D-120, Estonia

Disabled Youth Camp 2017: the experience of the Leos of District 108Ia3

Every year, in the summer, Leo and Lions District 108Ia1, Ia2 and Ia3 come together to organize the Disabled Youth Camp.

«The Disabled Youth Camp is a unique experience, that opens your eyes with joy on a reality often characterized by invisibility, exclusion and indifference», says Veronica Rinaldi (Leo Club Mondovì Monregalese), «it makes you understand how little is needed to make someone smile» adds Barbara Provera (Leo Club Ventimiglia). In Daniele Armando opinion (Leo Club Busca e Valli) «to see the participants challenge themselves, try new experiences, smile, hug, change and open up leave an indelible mark» and, concludes Alessia Macrì (Bra) «it makes your heart explode».

These are the words of some of the members of our District that have tried, for the first time, the experience of the Disabled Youth Camp 2017, that took place from July 8th to July 16th in Domodossola and has been organized by the three Lions and Leo Districts  Ia1, Ia2 e Ia3: they left anxious, excited and unaware of what they would have found. They have come back deeply enriched. Yes, because Daniele, Alessia, Francesca, Barbara, Veronica e Virginia have  lived the Camp each one in their own way, but all conscious that they have been changed by it. To tell our District or anyone else what we have experienced is impossible: the joy of who, limited by their disability in their everyday life, can enjoy a thermal bath, dance at the disco-pub, play the siren of the Vigezzina, sing with the musician of a restaurant on a terrace looking out on the lake, petting a horse, fly in a helicopter, let their face be wet by the waters of the Toce waterfalls…it’s not possible to express it in words.

These boys and girls have shownus their happiness and their joy with dozens, hundreds, thousands of hugs to which we have become dependent in just a few days: with misty eyes at the time of departure, we tried to demonstrate to them how grateful we were. Thank you for having taught us to give the stress and angers of everyday the little importance they deserve, to appreciate more our lucks and to look with admiration the courage of those that face, always with a smile, a Iife that is difficult but still full and wonderful.

Our District President and Camp Leader Emilia Fresia commented: «I’ve been really proud to see so many Leos of the District face this challenge as the disabled youth did: I’m very happy to have helped realize this small miracle for these people and their families».

Written by: Macrì Alessia – Leo Club Bra

Christmas Activities in LEO Club Aarhus

On the 14th of December LEO Club Aarhus organised two Christmas activities for children and young people in the area around Aarhus. One of them was at the orphanage Dalgaarden and the other one in The Greenlandic House where Foreningen Grønlandske Børn (an organisation that helps Greenlandic children and their families) had a Christmas party. Before these two activities LEO Club Aarhus had received the children’s wish lists and went Christmas shopping. This meant that every child got exactly what they wished for.

After our Christmas shopping we went to the two institutions. At Dalgaarden we sang traditional Christmas songs (we really know Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer by heart now) and had traditional Danish doughnuts and handed out the personalised gifts to the children. At The Greenlandic House we made some Christmas decorations and sang Christmas songs in both Danish and Greenlandic. We had gifts for both the children and their families. The children got a personalised gift and their family got a Christmas basket filled with food and Christmas candy. We even were so lucky that Santa paid a visit. He is from Greenland anyway so it makes perfect sense that he wanted to go to their Christmas party 😉

Our Christmas activities are definitely one of the highlights every year. Almost since our chartring in 1989 we have handed out Christmas presents to an orphanage. Our former collaborator Himmelbjerggården closed two years ago so we set up a new collaboration with Dalgaarden. Actually, a few of the children from Himmelbjerggården were moved to Dalgaarden and they actually remembered us visiting them with Christmas presents. That is cool!
To actually buy a personalised present and not just buy in bulk makes the experience even better – especially because we are involved in every step of the activity. The absolute highlight is of course when the children open their presents and we see how happy they become. We actually often get hugs from the children because they are so grateful for the presents. That truly makes being a LEO the best thing ever!

-Sofie Schøler Bargisen, ILO of MD106 Denmark