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Boys & Girls Club dinner is a night of recognizing its stars

CARLSBAD — The Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad put out all the stops for its spectacular 12th annual Super Star Recognition Dinner at its Village Branch site on Feb. 1. A hub of excitement was in the atmosphere while everyone enjoyed mingling, dining and applauding the winners throughout the evening.Donors, the board of directors, volunteers, club members and their families joined together while celebrating those who excelled in 2011.Pat Maldi, director of marketing and special events, described the event as a special one.

Youth of the Year winner, Gerald Ball, posing with George and Elizabeth Burmeister. Photo by Christina Macone-Greene

“First, it gives us the opportunity to acknowledge all the people that have made a significant difference throughout the year,” she said. “And second, we get to honor the kids, our true super stars.”

The casual soiree was punctuated with an Italian buffet prepared by Gregorio’s Restaurant based in Carlsbad.
This is the same restaurant that is donating its profits a third year in a row to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad.

Maldi pointed out that every tabletop had a different décor and theme for its diners. And there was a reason behind it.

“Our program staff creates a special centerpiece for each child that is honored and the centerpiece reflects that child’s hobbies and personalities,” she said. “It’s special and personal, and something that the child and his or her family really enjoy.”

The grand prize, Youth of the Year, was awarded to Gerald Ball. First runner up was Keli Moriarty-Alkire and Mara Waynick and Marina Rodriguez placed as finalists. Scholarships were provided by the Blackburn Foundation and Ted Vallas. The decision making panel included Dawn and Keith Blackburn, Denise Chapman, Bill Canepa, and Julie Harelson. Maldi said scholarship monies go toward school and college expenses.

Youth of the Year first runner up, Keli Moriarty-Alkire, with fellow finalist, Marina Rodriguez. Photo by Christina Macone-Greene

Golden Boy awards went to Taylor Barry, Wesley Murray, Chase Lechowicz, Nate DeAndrade and Gerald Ball. In the Golden Girl category, winners were Brianna DelaMora, Keli Moriarty-Alkire, Katelin Phipps, Sophia Musgrove and Kyriana Tarr.

More winners were rattled off such as Luke Matteson for Most Valuable Board Member, Matt Harelson and Eleanor Murrell for the Hustle Award, Scott Chelberg for the Bob Grimes Humanitarian Award, Chad Arendsen for the Champions for Children, Matt Simon for President’s Choice Award, Chuck Smith for Mr. Clutch Award, and John Manson for Most Inspirational Person.

The Most Valuable Volunteer Awards went to Lea Woodall, Sam Russell, Jim Baird and Teresa White. The Most Valuable Employees were awarded to Toni Brown and Curtis Nieder. Both Mary Do and Dana Odney won for Most Valuable Parent.

Service Recognition honors went to board member recipients Jerry Carter, Bill Larson, Guy Oliver, James Strayer and Viola Wheelihan for five years; Patrick Casinelli for 10 years; Richard Macgurn for 15 years; and, Luke Matteson for 25.

Steve Price with Golden Girl winner Sophia Musgrove and Hustle Award recipient Eleanor Murrell. Photo by Christina Macone-Greene

In the midst of the festivities, club members rolled out some entertainment. The Village Branch kids performed a powerful skit about bullying while the Bressi Clubhouse showcased their vocal talents.

The preparation and evening festivities were all run by the club staff and Maldi thanked each and every one for their hard work in making the event a memorable one.