Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Redlands-Riverside honored local youth and supporters at its annual Be Great Awards May 15.
The event was held at the Redlands Country Club and included dinner. KVCR’s Lillian Vasquez served as master of ceremonies, and Club alumnus Miguel Fernandez, who served as Youth of the Year in 2013 and 2014 and was a state finalist both years, spoke.
“It’s programs like Youth of the Year that really paved the way to success for me … me, a 22-year-old, is working at a Fortune 500 company,” said Fernandez, a public relations coordinator for Esri.
When he came to the Club, he was shy and didn’t care about making friends because he moved a lot in childhood. At the Club, he developed life-long friendships and the skill of holding a conversation. The Club also helped him get into four universities, including University of LaVerne, from which he graduated last year.
The Be Great Future Award was given to the Majestic Realty Foundation, while the Be Great Impact Award went to the Redlands Fire Department and Tim and Carol Rochford were awarded the Be Great Mission Award.
The Be Great Future Award goes to a business that has impacted Inland Empire youth through support of academic success, healthy lifestyles, and good character and citizenship. Majestic Realty Foundation has steadily supported the Club’s after-school programs since 2003 while strengthening the local economy with business developments. Majestic was an early champion of construction of the Club’s Dennis Hansberger Clubhouse, and has sponsored Club events and programs throughout the years.
The Be Great Impact Award is given to a business or organization that provides in-kind resources, impacting the daily programs at the Club. The Redlands Fire Department collects toys each holiday season during their Spark of Love toy drive for kids in need. This enables the Club to hold its Holiday Extravaganza, where every child receives the gift of a toy at the Burrage Mansion. Over 11 years, they have collected and delivered over 14,000 toys. They also bring fire engines to the Club’s Day for Kids and sponsor and donate to the Chocolate Fantasy fundraiser.
The Be Great Mission Award goes to an individual or organization that financially supports the Club’s ability to accomplish its mission. Tim and Carol Rochford, who married two years after graduating from Redlands High School, bought and restored the historic Burrage Mansion in 2007. The mansion’s purpose is to be a “sanctuary dedicated to the well-being and happiness of children in need,” and the Rochfords host the Club’s Holiday Extravaganza, Camp Einstein, Ford Jr. Youth of the Year dinner, day camp trips, and other events. More than 6,000 Club members experience Holiday Extravaganza and over 1,600 kids participate in summer camp activities at the mansion.
Three high school students were also recognized as the Club’s Youth of the Year Ambassadors: Jocelyn Perez, Genesis Sanchez, and Gabriel Gomez. Each student gave a speech about how the Club has changed their lives and their vision for the future. —Joy
Posted: May 25, 2019