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Boys & Girls Club Honors Its Members

Awards, including the coveted Youth of the Year, were announced Wednesday night.

More than 100 people gathered at the 10th annual Keystone Awards given by the Boys & Girls Club to honor its members—including 2010 Youth of Year Maggie Nesbitt—in the club gymnasium Wednesday night.

Director Mike Flynn welcomed attendees to the event, member Sam Mortinger opened the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance and  members Marianne Staudt and Stephanie Liddi sang "God Bless America."

Program director Kim Lockwood presented the Question & Wordle awards on behalf of the club, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Kohl's, who provided the winners with free books. Justin Joyce was the winner for the middle school division while Luke Gomez took home the elementary school prize.

Art done by members lined the walls of the gym, some of whom made it into the B&GC regional art show and a few even into the national show. Art subjects included cats, Superman and interpretive collage.

The nearly dozen members of The Torch Club were recognized. The club, designed to help its sixth to eighth grade members become better citizens in the community, were lauded for the work they did with seniors at Ridgefield Crossings, from Halloween fun to Christmas caroling and decorating to game playing.

"They bring so much sunshine when they visit," Lockwood said. They also participated in spreading salt at seniors' homes to make their steps and driveways safe over the winter, participating in the National Day of Service and completing a recycling project.

Organizers showed a short movie made about the club featuring narration by club director Brian Smith narrating the plethora of activities at the club from sports to games to socializing, outings and education before announcing the following awards:

2010 Male & Female Athlete of the Year: awarded for good effort, sportsmanship and attitude as well as prowess: Nick Class and Grace Gomez, who received framed yellow jerseys.

2010 Flag Football Player of the Year: Sam Mortinger received a football trophy.

2010 Pool Shark: Nery Leal, barely chest-high with the pool table, was presented with a silver pool stick.

2010 Ping Pong Champion: Kristian Sogaard

2010 Helping Hand Award Winners: Ethan Murray and Nick Bryant

2010 Indoor Soccer Player of the Year: Will Bryant received a soccer trophy.

2010 Journalist of the Year: Truelian Lee for her work as Editor in Chief in the newspaper's first year.

2010 Outstanding "New" Youth Volunteer: Catherine Heller

2010 Money Matters Finalist: Jon Boucher

Next members of the Keystone Club, a group of high school students at the Boys & Girls Club which meets weekly to develop character and responsibility, updated the audience about what the club had been up to this year. Officers Ryan Rossetter, Jon Boucher, Maggie Nesbitt and Jess Bova all contributed to the presentation.

Keystone members: participated in the pumpkin decorating and the Cody Dingee race. They helped prepare and serve food at Prospect Ridge, hosted speaker Bernie Stein—who taught them about about human interaction and body language, helped Jump Rope for Heart, Elementary Kids Night Out, flag football tournament, bake sale, Easter Egg Hunt, Spring Fling and St. Patty's Day Bingo at Ridgefield Crossings.

The Keystone Club presented the following awards, open to all members of the club:

Character Award:  Ryen Fujitani

Leadership Award: Triston "Big Paw" Philip

Torch club Member of the Year: Cierra Guasti

Artist of the Year: Isabel Kenney

Education Award: Meaghan McGowan

Rookie of the Year (New Member Award): Brian Showstead

Sportsmanship Award: Nick Steer, middle school and Zack James, elementary school

Volunteer Award: Mark Gilliam

The most important award, the Youth of the Year, is decided by a committee. This year they chose a 12-year veteran of the club who has been involved in almost every activity the club does. She calls the Governor Street club "my second home" and the place where she learned to become a leader.

2010 Youth of the Year: Maggie Nesbitt

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