This year’s Boys & Girls Club dinner presentation of “Youth of the Year” was held in Yerington, Saturday, Jan. 21, with Hawthorne’s honoree, Ravena Smith, being acknowledged for her constant effort and participation since opening the summer of 2016.
Third grader Smith was accompanied by her grandmother and the local site director, Lyndsey Burall, along with her family. The youth spotlight, given to this Mineral County elementary-aged child, was the completion of honoring someone that consistently helps other children who attend the five-day-a-week program.
Since 1947, this presentation has been a staple to the club’s programs. Youth of the Year embodies the leadership values surrounding the efforts provided for each child that attends. Older teens, ages 14-18, compete on a national level with college scholarships starting from the local Club forward. Regional and state level winners can obtain up to $15,000 and more for those teens excelling as club ambassadors. Many of these teens develop their own teaching skills while learning a depth of excellence within themselves.
Burall stated, “She was chosen to represent Hawthorne just for being herself. This is a child that shares whatever she has with other kids. She has created games, plus taught the kids how to play. She comes to the program rain or shine and makes new friends by including others. Her smile and caring attitude is special to our club.”
Monday’s local program honored her again, as the kids came together to enjoy a special heart cookie and watch Smith open a few gifts from the Hawthorne Boys & Girls Club kids. The day’s attendees asked Smith about the certificate and honor, at which she admitted meeting some of the club’s “big-wigs” and having 100 eyes staring at her. Smith admitted that the cake was the best part of her honored evening.
“I like everything about our Boys & Girls Club,” Smith shared. “We do crafts and play games – even one I made up called Banister Tag. I have learned so many new things, like origami paper folding and craft lacing. We can do our homework here and we get snacks too. I know there are more plans to teach us new things, so I don’t want to ever miss it.”
Also honored at the dinner was Hawthorne’s KARRS – Kids At Risk Rescue Squad, which donated a gift-of-kind matching amount, to create the local unit and begin the after-school programming. KARRS was awarded with the Blue Door Award for opening the way to Hawthorne’s new adventures, which would not have been possible without their help.
Volunteer awards were given to those within Mason County areas, as well as the Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada, for servicing the needs of donated food, clothing and assistance in a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs, including Hawthorne’s facility.
As the local Hawthorne site expands, their wish list includes a future computer room, bookcases and a large rug for a quiet area, desks and other basic items. On Feb. 17, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. a free community Spaghetti Night is planned for families to participate with bingo games, crafts and a valentine themed party.
The local programs daily rates are remaining at a reduced $1 per day, including all day Fridays. There is a $10 per year registration fee, adjusted for families with multiple children. Call 775-945-2428 with any questions, donations or to visit the club’s site along Armory Road.