West Shamokin avengers

Senior LEO members Haley Bradeis and Shane Krizmanich were very popular in their Avenger costumes. (West Shamokin High School)

This event is none other than the Halloween dance. It began before West Shamokin was even built. Now, it has become a tradition that the school adopted and has continued since its very first year of existence.

West Shamokin’s LEO Club organizes this event. LEO Club is a nonprofit organization and is made up of students from ninth through 12th grade. The individuals in charge of supervising and directing this club are Mrs. Patti Burford and Mrs. Laurel Glover, both of whom are current teachers at West Shamokin, and Ms. Zoe Ritchie, a former West Shamokin teacher.

Because LEO Club is a community service organization, events always benefit the community. In this case, third- through sixth-graders from local elementary schools benefit. Also, all profits go back to the community. The members of the club vote on how to donate this money.

For this particular event, students and teachers worked together to sell snacks and beverages, ensured that the music was up and the dance floor was full, played games with the children, and even held a costume contest. All in all, the entirety of LEO Club worked to make sure that this was a fun (and spooky) night to remember for the children. One member even said that the children’s smiling faces made all the work worthwhile.

This event is immensely important. It is the only fundraiser that LEO Club holds. So, all the money is used to benefit the community.

“LEO Club is an offshoot of the Lions Club, so we are involved in a variety of community services,” Burford said. The club donates to HAVIN, Orphans of the Storm, Salvation Army and even community families that need a helping hand.

Members of LEO Club get to see firsthand the goodness in the people involved in this club. After all, it’s the hardworking, compassionate, selfless individuals that donate their time to make sure that LEO Club exists, ensuring the betterment of their community. To join LEO Club, you need only to speak to one of its leaders, Burford, Glover or Ritchie.

When asked what their favorite part about the Halloween dance was, the answer was unanimous: “We love seeing the kids’ enjoyment from dressing up to playing games.”

The club’s officers and directors said that the only low point in the entire dance was trying to keep the children in the right area. “They always want to run out as soon as they see their parents. To ensure their safety, parents have to check them out and the kids never want to wait for this.”

Even though Glover described this aspect as a low point, she still said it with a smile, because when dealing with the Halloween dance, no other expression is possible.