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Former Lion's Leader Moved by Leos

Driving home to Yorktown from the Rhode Island shipyard that he runs, Al Avitabile pulls his car over and takes some time to talk over the phone about his favorite subject: the Leos .

“We’re at that point in the year where some of the kids you have known for a long time are moving on,” Avitabile says over the phone, his voice wavering a little. His involvement in guiding the Leo’s, a youth group outcropping of the Lion’s Club, has brought many of Yorktown’s most charitable children into his life.

The Leo’s work to raise money for charities and organization all across Yorktown. Every year a new batch of kids comes on board, and as Avitabile watch the older ones go off to college, he’s excited to see the fresh ideas that the next generation bring to the table.

The Leo’s also include a number of autistic and physically challenged members. Avitabile kept praising their involvement and fundraising efforts, often inside the schools.

Avitabile joined the Lion’s Club almost 20 years ago and has served as the president. He agreed to form the Leo’s on the suggestion of a member who needed community service projects for her honors students. Two years later she retired and the leadership of the program fell to Avitabile – something he says he doesn’t regret in the least.

Aside from raising a family and watching my own kids grow up, the Leo’s are one of the most rewarding things in my life,” Avitabile said.

While he claims the Leo’s have enriched his own life, Avitabile’s insists the real beneficiary of their efforts is the Town of Yorktown.  “When people see you out in the community being active it makes them want to get involved,” Avitabile said, adding that he has seen their work inspire others.

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