Boys & Girls Club Blog

Youth of the Year Dinner

The Club’s Youth of the Year Dinner was an extra special night this year as it took place at a new location—the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center. Club families, staff, board members, teachers, donors and special friends of the Club all joined together on March 22nd for an exceptional celebration of the achievements of Club members of all ages, from Kindergarteners to high school seniors.

Club members, no matter their age or when they attended the Club during 2017, be it in the evening during the school year, at one of our after school care sites, at a Lighted School House or MELT program, or during the summer time, all were encouraged in their efforts to grow in the areas of Health & Wellness, Academic Success and Character & Leadership.

7-12 year olds who demonstrated themselves to go above and beyond in these categories while participating in different program areas at the Club received special “youth of the month” designations for that area, such as STEM Room Youth of the Month, Art Room Youth of the Month, etc. Each winner was featured on a bulletin board in that program area.

Each month as well, a teen boy and teen girl were recognized from the teen center. 5-6 year old youths of the month were also chosen from each of our summer classrooms; a boy and a girl youth of the month was chosen from our after school care sites and Lighted School House locations; and mentors and mentees in our Great Futures Mentoring program were recognized as well.

Over 150 kids and teens in total were recognized. At the Youth of the Year Dinner, each child and teen had their name read aloud, was welcomed to the stage with applause and was presented a certificate with their name and a description of the award on it which was handed to them by a Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh Board Member, staff member or special friend of the Club.

The highlight of the evening was the recognition of the Club’s largest youth achievement, Youth of the Year. For Club kids, this honor is the pinnacle of the Boys & Girls Club experience; it’s an award they all aspire to achieve one day. This year, the special honor was presented to a high school junior, Club teen Nichole VanHoof, who shared her amazing story with dinner attendees.

Center Director Lori Fields explained about the evening, “Club members were so proud to be celebrated and congratulated on their accomplishments in front of their families, teachers and peers. Kids and teens spend so much time learning and being corrected. It’s so important for them to also receive praise and positive reinforcement for a job well done, and this dinner is always a great opportunity for that.”

To make the evening extra memorable, Club members each received several special gifts to take home including a Youth of the Year t-shirt and sunglasses, donated by MARCO Promos, and fun, colorful Boys & Girls Club cups donated by Dynamic Drinkware.

A big thank you to the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh Alumni Association for sponsoring the overall event, everyone who came out to support our youth, those of you who sponsored kids or families to attend the dinner, and those of you who helped hand out awards. Your support is greatly appreciated!

See more photos of this event on Facebook!