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Saddle River Lions Honor Allendale Student Club For Service Projects

(from left) David Verducci, current faculty advisor Kimberly Kender, Christine Kang, Tatianna Sitounis, Madison Grossman, Mary Wang, John Romano, and previous faculty advisors Kim Hayes and Bernice Reesbeck
(from left) David Verducci, current faculty advisor Kimberly Kender, Christine Kang, Tatianna Sitounis, Madison Grossman, Mary Wang, John Romano, and previous faculty advisors Kim Hayes and Bernice Reesbeck Photo Credit: courtesy of Saddle River Valley Lions Club

SADDLE RIVER, N.J. --  The Leo Club at Northern Highlands Regional High School is a winner of Lions International "Award of Excellence."

It was presented at the most recent Northern Highlands Board of Education meeting and is the highest honor in its category bestowed by the international service organization.

The award is not given lightly.

"During the Lions' year 2014-15, only 66 Awards of Excellence were given worldwide. Of these, only 18 were awarded in the United States, with only one given in New Jersey," said David Verducci, chairman of the Lions' Leo Committee

Leo Clubs are school or community-based organizations that provide middle- and high-school students with service opportunities.

"In a day and age service to self has, for many, replaced the idea of service to others, Leo Clubs are helping to inculcate important values, particularly those about helping others who are less fortunate," Lions Past District Governor John Romano said.

Established in 2012, the Northern Highlands Leo Club was the first of the four local school-based clubs sponsored by the Saddle River Valley Lions.

"The Northern Highlands Leos have learned these lessons extremely well," said Verducci. "In the past four years, their service projects have included eyeglass collection drives, visits to hospital pediatric wards, participation in Relay for Life, book drives, spending days off from school working with Habitat for Humanity and much, much more."

The Saddle River Valley Lions Club is a regional club that also sponsors Leo Clubs in the Cavallini Middle School in Upper Saddle River, Mahwah High School and the Brookside School in Allendale.

Since the local Lions Club's beginning, the nonprofit has raised and distributed more than $2.2 million.

For more information about the Lions Club, including membership opportunities, visit its website.

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