Boys & Girls Club names youth of the year
kings beach – Charity Gardner, a 2 1/2 year member of the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe, has been selected as the club’s 2001 youth of the year.Sponsored by the Reader’s Digest Association and administered by Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the youth of the year program recognizes superior leadership skills, academic achievement, obstacles overcome and outstanding service to the Boys & Girls Clubs and the community.The 13-year-old North Lake Tahoe winner is a positive role model for today’s young people. She currently participates in the Boys & Girls Club ski/snowboard, youth basketball and girls’ softball leagues. She is a member of the Torch Club, a nationally recognized leadership and service group for teens, and she is involved in a mentoring program for the younger kids.”Basketball is my favorite sport,” she said. “I learned it here at the Boys & Girls Club.”Allison Everist, Program Director for the Boys & Girls Club said, “Charity went through a complete orientation with staff to receive full CPR and first aid training and was a junior counselor throughout the summer.”Youth of the Year winners are traditionally juniors or seniors in high school. The Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe currently doesn’t serve high school students due to lack of space, but choose to recognize Gardner for her service. Club officials look forward to the day when the youth of the year will compete against other Boys & Girls Club youth for the California State youth of the year title – and maybe go on to win the regional competition.Five regional winners selected from among state winners will compete for the national honor in Washington, D.C., where the president will officially install the national youth of the year in a White House ceremony in September. The winner will also receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Reader’s Digest Association, sponsor of the program since its inception in 1947.For more information on the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe, call 546-4324 or visit http://www.bgcnlt.org.Awards luncheon honors volunteerskings Beach – The Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe honored the youth of the year, volunteers of the year and acknowledged corporate sponsors and staff at its second annual “For the Love of Kids” awards luncheon Thursday, Feb. 8, at the North Tahoe Community Conference Center.Charity Gardner, 13, daughter of Donna and Jim Peterson of Kings Beach, was named youth of the year.”She’s awesome!” said Allison Everist, program director for the Boys & Girls Club. “She currently participates in Boys & Girls Club ski/snowboard, youth basketball and girls softball leagues; she is a member of the Torch Club, a nationally recognized leadership and service development club for teens and she is involved in a mentoring program for the younger kids.”Two women, one from each Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe program site, were acknowledged as volunteers of the year.The award winner for the Truckee area was Lin Zacconi, a retired engineer.”She attended the very first volunteer orientation we had when the program started a year ago and she’s been coming faithfully ever since,” Everist said. “She’s there every week, two days a week, helping children with homework.”Lin Zacconi has started her own educational program with the Boys & Girls Club: A discovery zone class that provides science exploration for the kids once a week.”She does things like talk about the splitting of an atom, using a plastic egg filled with candy, so the kids really get into it,” Everist explained.Anne Thomas, a teacher from Kings Beach Elementary School who has been on sabbatical, was honored also as volunteer of the year.”Her main goal while on sabbatical was to be a personal link to students, their parents, the school district and the Boys & Girls Club,” Everist said. “She personally goes to student homes who she feels need additional school help and talks to parents one-on-one.”She helps get the children registered for the club. She waits for them when they get out of school, sets up contracts with them so they do their homework and participates in power hour at least two days a week helping them with their homework.”Thomas is also the liaison between the Boys & Girls Club and the school, advocating for both sides. She is spearheading a project identifying students who need help in basic educational concepts.She sets up tutoring programs, getting teachers to stay after school to conduct the tutoring session and makes certain those teachers are compensated for their efforts.Jean Hagan from Squaw Valley USA’s High Camp received the distinguished community service award for her participation and organization of the Boys & Girls Club Christmas party.Hagan arranged for members of the ski community to be paired with Boys & Girls Club partners. They met each other and rode in the tram to High Camp together for evening festivities. They enjoyed a traditional holiday dinner then went ice skating. When they returned inside for Christmas carols, Santa arrived and each Boys & Girls Club member received a special present from his or her partner during the event.”Many of the children had never ridden in a tram or had a chance to go ice skating, so the event was a real experience for them,” said Nancy O’Neill, a board member of the club.Distinguished service recognition was given to: Dave Ferrari, the Ferrari family and the Crown Motel for fund-raising efforts, contributions to the club’s operating funds and sports team sponsorships; Lane Lewis of Old Brockway Golf Course for fund-raising efforts and sports team sponsorships; Jeff Lanini, Lake of the Sky Realty for sports team sponsorships and coaching assistance; Terry Yagura, Arts For the Schools, for fund-raising efforts and contributions; and The Tahoe League For Charity, for donating Nutcracker Ballet tickets to the Boys & Girls Club.”The gift of ballet tickets offered a cultural experience many of the children had never had,” O’Neill explained. “Most of those who attended had never seen a ballet,”Corporate sponsors Telis Internet Provider, Charles Schwab, Inc. and Northstar were acknowledged for their contributions to the major Boys & Girls Club fund-raiser, Tahoe Jazz.New associate members and new members of the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe board of governors were also recognized during the luncheon.”This event provides us with an opportunity to reflect back over our accomplishments and thank members of the community for their efforts,” O’Neill explained.Dr. Sharon Cathey-Gibson, director of teacher training at Sierra Nevada College, was the featured speaker at the luncheon. She shared stories from her career as a teacher and principal in working with at-risk children.Members of the Boys & Girls Club Dance Troupe, Ballet Folklorico, entertained.The Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe provides programs in five major areas: education and career development; cultural, performing and literary arts; sports, fitness and recreation; health and life skills and character and leadership development.For more information on the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe, call 546-4324 or visit www. bgcnlt. org.
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