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Lion HeART

The Goal of Lion HeArt is to mentor young men who need to find hope, purpose and direction in life.  


It will have an element that exclusively addresses the needs of young men and teens who are in need of skills that are essential as they move into manhood. This program gives young men time to focus on learning new skills while having fun outdoors or doing sports and games.


Lion heART also is seeking to find adults who will commit to be role models. They will be a father figure and life long friend to a young man in need.  Their values and skills will impact these young men so they will learn how to have healthy family relationships in the future.

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Danny Clugston - Director of Lion HeArt.

Danny  is a former police officer and detective with the SJC Sheriff Department.  He has worked as a school resource officer in FMS and as a teacher at Heights Junior High.  He has been active with youth ministry in planning and facilitating events. 

Danny has a heart for youth and sees the great need to address the issues we see in our society that are negatively impacting our young men. He is also a loving dad to a son and daughter both in their teens. 


Wes LePlatt

Wes LePlatt who is a retired teacher and coach, with over 30 years of experience in teaching and coaching and with a love for sports, his vast experience with working with young men is invaluable. He has been involved in youth ministry over 30 years. Wes  also helps young men learn the art of fly fishing.

Danny and Wes have been spending time with these young men individually and in groups of 2-8 individuals per session addressing specific needs such as tutoring for school success, fishing, fly fishing, hiking trips, camping trips, fitness programs  At all times, these men are displaying what it means to be a man of integrity and a good friend.

 Lion HeArt Growth Stories


   One 8th grade teen boy found that because of 5 F’s  he was ineligible to play football which was a great desire of his.

Wes began tutoring him and helping him with his football skills to provide more motivation.  In less than 4 months he achieved a 2.5 grade point average and was able to play football.  

His teachers and coaches at school have seen a positive change in his attitude and they have made remarks that he is like a different person. 


In March, a young man was referred to Danny by his  family.  He suffered from severe anxiety and depression.  He had turned to drugs for relief, but often had violent fits of rage.  

He felt like he had no hope or purpose in life.  He desired change, but didn’t know how to begin.  Danny contacted him and began to meet with him and give him tools and options to be able to move in a better direction for his life.  

Now after four months of mentoring and skill building, his outlook on life has changed.  He now believes there is a future for him that may even include a wife and family.  His family members are amazed at the new positive attitudes and behaviors they see and the new kind of person he is becoming.

Lion HeArt

From the numbers that we are already serving, it is obvious that we are growing fast and already in need of more staff. With all the stress and pressures in life, teens are  often not equipped to cope.  We want to be the ones to help them acquire the skills and develop the friendships they need to overcome the battles they are facing at such a young age.  We know we can do so much more to make a difference and we are so appreciative of your generosity.  

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