Boys & Girls Clubs honor top kids
By Greg Parker, M.Ed.
By Greg Parker, M.Ed.
Chief Professional Officer
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Bandera County celebrated their first annual Youth of the Year event at the Bandera Electric Cooperative's Community Room on Thursday evening, Jan. 16. The well attended evening honored the youth that participate in the Boys & Girls Clubs' activities.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America have a recognition program that highlights the outstanding youth in the Clubs. This national program was established in 1947 and recognizes members that show service to the Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability.
In Bandera County, the program has been modeled after the national organization's format. Three youth were honored as Junior Youth of the Year participants and three were honored for the Youth of the Year event. All six individuals gave a speech of "What My Club Means To Me!" and were interviewed by a panel of judges.
Charlie Hicks, Bandera City Marshal; Genie Strickland, Community Advocate; Cynthia Anderson, Bandera Middle School Counselor; and Glenn Muennink, Bandera County Probation Officer, judged the competition.
Members honored on Thursday evening were Michael Gonzalez, Kayley Dykes, Dexter Soto, and Nicholas Guerra. Named Junior Youth of the Year was Ofelia Macias, and Youth of the Year was D'Ann Arnet.
Arnet will receive a $500 sponsorship from the Boys & Girls Clubs, local certificates and prizes. She will go on to compete in the South Texas Region Youth of the Year competition in South Padre Island the weekend of Feb. 28.
Thanks to generous sponsors, enough money was raised to allow all teen members to attend this event. This will give them another perk for serving within the Club and having the attributes that honor Youth of the Year members.
The Boys & Girls Clubs have a national partnership with Kiwanis International and the Bandera County clubs partner with the local Kiwanis chapter to offer the TERRIFIC Kid program. Several members from the Kiwanis Bandera County Chapter attended Thursday evening to show great support. Michelle Frost, Bandera County Kiwanis President, explained the purpose of the TERRIFIC Kid program and the partnership between the Club and Kiwanis.
Kiwanis TERRIFIC Kid stands for Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inquisitive, and Capable.
The Kiwanis TERRIFIC Kids honored were Havanah Aguirre from the Boys & Girls Club Alkek Unit, and Alexa Parkert from the Boys & Girls Club Hill Country Unit.
Sponsors who provided the funds to make this event, program and trip to South Padre happen for club members included Title Sponsor - Wells Fargo Bank, Bandera; sponsors - Bandera First State Bank, Lowes Supermarket (Bandera), Lost Valley Mini-Storage, Main Street Tire & Automotive Service, Bandera Paint and Body, Morris Painting and Tripp's Appliance & Tire.
County Judge Richard Evans happily accepted the honor of presenting the awards to the Youth of the Year and Junior Youth of the Year winners!