'Lions Heart' Awardees Named for Franklin


Pictured above is Norah Anderson (Golden Lion award), Hailey Fales (Golden Lion award), Payten Crandall (Golden Lion), Riley Cross, Kelsey Maquire, Katie Peterson (Golden Lion award), Lizzy Dorsey (Golden Lion award), Olivia Reagan (Golden Lion award), Bella DeCrescenzo (Golden Lion award), Madison Gaughran (Golden Lion award), Mackenzie Bernhardt (Golden Lion award), Sydney Rogen, and Blair Borgeson. Not pictured is Ava Remilard (Golden Lion award). These girls have been members of the Lions Heart community service program for 7 years earning them the Golden Lion award. They are the first group in the Franklin chapter to receive this honor.

Lions Heart is a nationally recognized community service organization for teen boys and girls in grades 6-12. Together, the group in Franklin has completed 4944 hours of community service in Franklin, surrounding towns, Boston and beyond. Some have taken their passion to serve as far as Peru. Lions Heart has had a very active chapter in Franklin since 2015. Ten of these girls joined in 2016 and met the requirement of completing a minimum of 25 hours per year. Many of them went above and beyond that number, completing 100 hours or more per year and earned Presidential Volunteer Service Awards, an award given by the president of Lions Heart USA.

According to Allison Bernhardt, who is just completing a stint as a class coordinator with the group, participants are required to not only complete the service hours, but hold meetings to plan service projects. The members have held elected positions of president, vice president, secretary and historian. They run the meetings, creating an agenda and keeping minutes. They have not only learned to serve, but to also lead, she explained.

The Presidential Volunteer Service Awards (PVSA) is based on the number of community service hours performed. There are requirements for different age groups. The Golden Lion Award is for members who start in 6th grade and go all the way till graduation in good standing, meaning they've met the minimum hour requirements/year and have met the group meeting requirements.

Bernhardt said she was the chapter president for the Franklin Chapter since it started in town back in 2014. “Every group has a parent acting as class coordinator to help the kids run meetings and find opportunities to serve,” she added.

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