Red-carpet ready Keystoners dressed up for an evening of awards and surprises
By Claire B., Harriet H. Samuelsson Branch, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme
The vibe was set on high tonight at the 2014 National Keystone Conference Awards Ceremony! It started off with everyone rushing through the Platinum Ballroom doors to get to their seats and prepare for the exciting events that were about to take place.The music was just right and had everyone on their feet and dancing the night away.
It was amazing to see how much energy all the teens had after such a long day of soaking up knowledge and being proactive. It was the perfect event to throw to give all of the Keystoners a little break and have some more fun during this conference.
We started right away with handing out awards. The first award that was given was the Academic Success Award. The nominees were the Boys and Girls Club of Ridgefield, the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco Mission Club and the Boys and Girls Club of Benton County. The Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco took home the award due to their hard work in the classrooms this past year. Great job San Fran, you deserve it!
The next award of the night was the Career Preparation Award. The nominees for this award were Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco, Boys and Girls Club of Benton County and Boys and Girls Club of Ridgefield. BGC Benton County won the award because of their 30-page business plan for a screenprinting company (which they are now in the process of bringing to life).. Also, they won an iPad as well!
The Career Preparation Award was next to be given out. The winners for this award was the Boys and Girls Club of Ridgefield. They had taken on a project to honor a Keystone member that they lost to a rare skin disease. I’m sure they’ve made him proud with the outstanding job they’ve done!
The next recognition of the night was the three first place “Caption This!” Contest award winners: Cameron for cyberbullying, Jonathan for texting and driving.and Leeandrea for cyber reputation management. They did such an amazing job with their winning slogans, which were printed on T-shirts given to Keystoners, and have spread the word about each and every one of these important topics.
The first performer of the night was our very own Boys and Girls Club of Garden Grove H.O.P.E. Team, performing a cover of “Happy” by Pharrell. They blew the stage away with their amazing blend of voices. The crowd actually gave them a standing ovation at the end of their performance. It was a very well done performance and it got the crowd very hyped up.
The National Keystone Project Award had three awesome nominees. The top three nominees were BGC Garden Grove, BGC Oshkosh, and BGC Ramstein. The NKP Award was Awarded to the Boys and Girls Club of Ramstein. They’ve worked so hard in their very own community. They collected and donated 500 pounds of clothes, helped renovate a shelter and arranged a sleepout and raised awareness to teens about what it’s like to be homeless. That right there alone is just a few of the incredible examples of why they deserved this award this year. Keep up the amazing work Ramstein!
We had special guest Jim Clark, who is the President and CEO of BGCA, to help with getting the crowd even more pumped than they already were as he said, “One question, is everyone having a good time?” Everyone was having an outstanding time when Mr. Clark recognized our Gold and Legacy Chartered Clubs and Linda Wilste, who won the Champion for Teens Award. Some of the important partners to the Keystone Club, like Taco Bell, were also recognized..
Presented at the ceremony was the new The Club logo that voted on by Club teens. For voting, Christopher C. won a Galaxy Tablet from Samsung in a sweepstakes and came to the stage to claim his prize.. The new logo was printed on shirts which 20 random Keystoners received and also onto backpacks given to all the Keystoners. What an awesome giveaway -- thank you BGCA!
Another wonderful guest we had tonight was Keystone Alumni (1983-85) Tony Reagins. He announced Keystone Club of the Year -- the Boys and Girls Club of Benton County. They were able to work together to and make a service trip to Guatemala to help make a difference in a community lthere. It’s such an important aspect in life to make a positive impact on others’ lives.
The outstanding Keystone Advisor of the Year Award was given to Kaureen Whittaker of BGC Ramstein for her amazing job as a Keystone advisor. We know your kids appreciate you as much as you appreciate them! BGC Ramstein, you have an amazing advisor, so be grateful.
To end the night, we had our First Wave emcees get the crowd involved. That’s right everyone, we did the wave. The crowd was put to the test by doing the ultimate wave which consisted of doing the wave every which way possible through the audience! Of course, all of them being great teens, they passed the test and we caught the ultimate wave on camera. It was pretty fun to see a sea of hands go up in the crowd as they engaged in this little game.
After that, a performance by 15-year-old Miguelito had the crowd going! He is the youngest person to have ever won a Latin Grammy Award. We were lucky enough to have him perform for us and he also gave us a sneak peak of one of his new songs that is set to be released later in April 2014.
This was definitely a night to remember filled with fun and excitement and I know we will have more to come!