BRISTOL - Many youth members of the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center were recognized last night for their several accomplishments and achievements at the 81st Annual Recognition Dinner.
Various awards were distributed to honor members from every clubhouse, division and sports team that falls under the umbrella of the club in academics, sports, leadership and strong character, explained the chief professional officer of the club, Michael Suchopar.
“We believe all kids are filled with potential,” said Suchopar. “The organization is here to help them reach that potential, and recognize it.”
Jessica White, the educational director of the club who helped organize the event, explained the recognitions were based on involvement, participation, attitude and consistency.
“It was a tough decision to choose who to recognize,” said White. “We try to give opportunities to all the kids in different ways and in areas of the club they are comfortable in, so they can reach their fullest potential as they have.”
One of the youth members being recognized was Nala Jones, 8, of Bristol, who attended the event with her mother Lynell Jones. Nala is regularly at the club to play games, do her homework or wrestle.
“She is very excited,” said Lynell Jones. “The after-school programs here are great for working parents. She gets homework help and reads daily. It’s a learning environment and they are making themselves known to be a great help to the community.”
The event served as a special way for the entire community to recognize the youth of the organization for all the hard work they do and their growth as individuals, according to Arthur Ward of the club’s board of directors.
“It’s difficult to recognize one or two, when they all do so much for the community,” said Ward. “That’s why we make it a community celebration.”
This year’s Youth of the Year award winner, Jill Maghini, stated all the special clubs and divisions recognized their youth together to embrace the sense of community and truly recognize every possible member.
“There are so many kids that come and are not recognized, so that’s why we do all the recognitions together,” said Maghini. “We are a community.”
Julian Garlindez, who has been involved with the club for his entire life and is now employed there, explained they help youth find their direction in the many diverse programs.
“To see the kids grow within the club and each of its programs is incredible,” said Garlindez. “It shows they want to grow and be part of the club.”
The club’s marketing manager Sarah Lucian explained that motivation and success are what drives the members to be the best.
“We are really proud of their accomplishments,” said Lucian. “The staff is grateful to work with talented, loving, young people, and proud of all the work they have done in all the clubhouses.”
The dinner was sponsored by the Older Members Association to recognize members who have excelled in the programs that are focused on academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles.
School Based Club House Member of the Year
Ivy-Drive Clubhouse - Garett Lebowitz
Hubbell Clubhouse - Areli Rodriguez
Mt. View Clubhouse - Madison Charette
Edgewood Clubhouse - Gavin Brescia
Greene-Hills Clubhouse - Caitlyn Carbone
Stafford Clubhouse - Kobe T Senethong
Lake Garda Clubhouse - Samantha Mitchell
South Side Clubhouse - Yuvraj Palliyath
Character and Leadership
Elementary age - CaraZen Lynch-Raymond
Middle school age - Jayeson Vanbeveren
Healthy Lifestyles Award - Dylan Serrambana
Junior YOY winner - Mason Lishness
Youth Technology Award - Brianna Parker
Power Hour Student of the Year - Nala Jones
Cambridge Park Clubhouse
Good Character and Leadership Award - Pedro Lopez
Power Hour Student of the Year - Adehledy Vargas
Healthy Lifestyle - Nelsaly Riley
Travel Basketball Most Valuable Player - Cheniel Serrano
FC Gymnastics Clubhouse
M.V.G (Most Valuable Gymnast) - Taylor Freimuth
Most Improved- Tyjah Jones
Hardest Worker- Elayna Reynoso
Basketball MVP Awards
5th Grade Girls Travel - Emma Stavens
6th Grade Girls Travel - Brooke Watston
7th Grade Girls Travel - Ciara Collins
8th Grade Girls Travel - Sophia Gerst
Boys 4th Grade Travel - Greyson Pierce
Boys 5th Grade Travel - Jahsun Gayle
Boys 6th Grade Blue Travel - Treshawn Blair
Boys 6th Grade Green Travel - Dennis Cruz
Boys 7th Grade Blue Travel - Carson Rivoira
Boys 7th Grade Green Travel - Zach Vanasse
Boys 8th Grade Blue Travel - Elijah Parent
Boys 8th Grade Green Travel - Dylan Woodsome
Duel Team Most Outstanding Wrestler - Alex Marshall
Junior Gladiator Most Outstanding Wrestler - Hudson Frey
Senior Gladiator Most Outstanding Wrestler - Ashton Bip
14 U – Eliminators - Abby Jones
16 U - Chaos - Leah Martin
18 U – Vortex - Mikayla Martin
The David Pecevich Memorial Sportsmanship Award
Rex Hamilton Award
Youth of the Year
Junior Youth of the Year
Tech for Teens