YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Members of the Yorktown Leo Club traveled nearly 70 miles earlier this month to lend a helping hand to a hurricane-ravage community in Staten Island.
Following Hurricane Sandy last month, the youth group did its best to clean-up Colonial Gardens Co-op, an apartment complex about a mile from the coast that suffered significant flooding that left many residents without a home.
“Some people lost everything,” said Vincent Tummino, a retired New York firefighter and board member of the Firefighters & EMS Foundation, which helped coordinate the event. “The damaged apartments were cleaned out of household items and discarded, water logged Sheetrock walls and ceiling was removed also.”
Guiding Eyes for the Blind also helped out and provided transportation for 58 Leos, who spent the day emptying the apartments and moving the water-soaked items to the curb for trash pick-up.
Rosemarie Cantelmo, board president of Colonial Gardens, thanked the members for helping the community in its time of need.
“You came to our rescue armed with cleaning supplies, hot food, and cheerful spirits,” she wrote in a letter. “Your group exemplifies the strength of the human spirit and restores the hope and confidence in our future generation. As an educator of middle school students, I was particularly moved by the maturity, sensitivity and willingness of all of you.”
The Leos are sponsored by the Yorktown Lions club and part of Lions Clubs International and has approximately 105 members between the ages of 12 and 25. Last year, the group completed 29 community service projects and raised $20,000 for local charities.
“In our darkest days, the Leo Club was our ray of sunshine!” Cantelmo wrote. “After the effects of ‘Sandy’ are no longer visible, the indelible mark you have left on our hearts will remain.”