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Press Release (BlakelyCompany.com)

Presenting sponsor Raytheon and the Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region will host the 49th annual Youth of the Year awards dinner at 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 24, at The Broadmoor, Rocky Mountain Ballroom in Broadmoor West, 1 Lake Ave.

The evening will include celebration of the accomplishments of the Club’s hard-working teen members.

A panel of judges will select one Youth of the Year from four local youth. Some of the criteria for nomination include:

· Embodying the values of leadership and service; academic excellence; and healthy lifestyles.

· Participated in a year-round recognition program, serving as a role model for other young people in the Club and as a representative to the community.

The winner will compete in Denver against 16 other youth from around the state. The state Youth of the Year goes on to a regional competition of six, and the winner at the regional event moves on to compete for the 2017 National Youth of the Year title. The national winner will visit the White House, meet the President of the United States, receive a new car, and most importantly receive more than $100,000 in scholarship earnings for college.

Evander Holyfield, five-time world champion, will be the keynote speaker. As a child, Holyfield took boxing lessons at the Boys & Girls Club of Atlanta and attributes much of his success to early encouragement in his life.

Abbie Burke, evening anchor/reporter for Fox 21 News, will be the master of ceremonies.

“We are thrilled to be able to honor the exceptional teens who are members of the Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region,” said CEO and President James Sullivan. “They enrich our community in so many ways – and they are an inspiration to all of us here at the Club.”

YOUTH OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
· Brent Knight, freshman at James Irwin Charter High School
· Marissa Mitchell, freshman at James Irwin
· Dave Robinson II, sophomore at James Irwin
· Rebecca Starnes, sophomore at Coronado High School


YOUTH OF THE YEAR BIOS

BRENT KNIGHT
Brent Knight, a ninth grade student from Colorado Springs, has been a member with the Boys & Girls Club for eight years, participating in many programs, including Passport to Manhood, Graduate for Más, SMART moves, Triple Play, Robotics, Keystone, Torch Club and Camp Bow Wow. Over the years, Brent has been a member of National Junior Honor Society, on the Honor roll, and has received the Presidential Academic Award. Brent is very involved in his club and community by being the Club Site President, the Coffee Shop Leader, leading group activities, feeding the homeless, and being the kids worship leader at his church. In the future, Brent plans to attend the University of California, Berkley, and become an aerospace engineer. Brent’s experience has been very positive: “To me the Boys & Girls Club is my safe haven – where I can be how I am.”

MARISSA MITCHELL
Marissa Mitchell, a ninth grade student from Colorado Springs, has been a member with the Boys & Girls Club for four years and has participated in a number programs, including, Camp Bow Wow, Keystone, Graduation for Más, SMART Moves, Triple Play and Torch Club. Marissa’s achievements include being a member of National Junior Honor Society, being on the Principal’s Honor Roll and Star Honor Roll, being on the Tri-Peaks League Honor Band, and being involved in the Colorado Springs Conservatory. Marissa is very involved in her club and community including, volunteering for Camp Bow Wow and Thanksgiving Dinner at Tutt, volunteering with productions at the Colorado Springs Conservatory, and participating in her church’s youth group. In the future, Marissa plans to get a master’s degree, and become a music educator/musician or a writer. To Marissa, her experience at the Boys & Girls club is best described through a quote by John F. Kennedy: “If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”

DAVE ROBINSON II
Dave Robinson, a tenth grade student in Colorado Springs, has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club for nine years, participating in Keystone, Teen Safe Driving, Graduate for Más, Passport to Manhood, Triple Play and Start SMART. In addition, he has volunteered at Camp Bow Wow and the Haunted Club.

With his “anything is possible” attitude, Dave plans to one day build and lead his own video game design company. Dave wants to inspire others to live with just as much passion as he does every day. “Imagine a place where possibilities are endless; a place where you can dream without any fear of judgment. I have found this place at my Boys and Girls Club.”

REBECCA STARNES
Rebecca Starnes, a tenth grade student from Colorado Springs and has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club for five years, participating in numerous programs, including Torch Club, Triple Play, SMART Girls and OJP. Some achievements include receiving the Freshman Award and completing REACH. Becca stays involved with her club by volunteering in Camp Bow Wow, helping in the Marian House, volunteering at the Where’s Waldo 5k, and participating in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In the future, she plans on becoming a kindergarten teacher or becoming a child psychologist. Becca’s experience at the Boys & Girls Club is best described by a quote from Ashley O’ Donnell: “Were you the best you could’ve been today?”

EVENT DETAILS

R.S.V.P. by Friday, Feb. 10. Sponsorship levels start at $1,000, and individual tickets are $200. Cocktail attire is requested. There will be a silent auction to raise money for the Club, to benefit local teens. Cocktails and a plated dinner will be served.

Visit bgcppr.org/yoy for sponsorship information or to register online.

Parking options include: Valet parking, self-park garage or complimentary shuttles to Broadmoor West.

For registration or sponsorship questions, contact Marli Fitzgerald at 719-570-7077 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF THE PIKES PEAK REGION
The Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region has served the community since 1888 – for 128 years. Our organization is also the oldest Club west of the Mississippi River and the eighth oldest Club of more than 4,300 worldwide. During our 128-year history, our organization has devoted itself to providing the youth of the Pikes Peak Region with a safe place to learn and grow. We operate two after school youth development programs and four before & after school child care programs in the Pikes Peak Region, serving approximately 1,300 youth with nationally acclaimed programming.

These six locations also join our three traditional after-school programs at Tutt, El Pomar, and Falcon for a total of nine Boys & Girls Club programs being offered throughout the Pikes Peak Region. In 2012, the Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region Before and After School Care Program officially changed its' name to Kids Club 360! A few Kids Club 360 sites transitioned into feeder sites such as Oak Creek, which feeds to Otero, and Mesa, which feeds to Eagleside. This