Showcase event celebrates future leaders and former Club kids
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford and Cecil Counties announced today it will host its annual Youth Celebration Dinner on Thursday, April 5 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the APGFCU Arena at Harford Community College, located at 401 Thomas Run Road in Bel Air. Attendees will learn how the Clubs are changing lives as current members and alumni share their journey and the impact the Clubs have had in Harford County over the past 27 years.
The Youth Celebration Dinner is the single largest annual fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford and Cecil Counties. The Clubs will announce the annual “Youth of the Year” award, and Club members will share their stories with a focus on highlighting the many achievements of the children attending Clubs in Harford County. Attendees will have the unique opportunity to witness firsthand the impact their donor dollars are making in the Clubs as they hear directly from current Club kids and alumni.
The celebration’s keynote speaker, former Club member Bryant Stewart, is an admirable example of just one of these accomplishments. For Stewart, middle school was a time of stress and confusion. His mother became seriously ill and his father, a Baltimore City police officer, needed to work the night shift. He was suddenly faced not only with an uncertain future but was saddled with the added responsibility of caring for his two younger siblings.
“The Club was a place where I knew that my brother and sister were safe and loved,” says Stewart. “I knew they would receive help with their homework and also play games and have fun.”
Through the mentorship of caring staff and volunteers, Stewart learned how to tackle challenges and realized his own unique potential. In 2004, he was selected as the Harford County Youth of the Year and went on to be named Maryland State Youth of the Year. Today, Stewart works on Wall Street managing AT&T business revenues with foreign governments and multilateral agencies.
“Boys & Girls Clubs changed my life,” Stewart explains, “It’s my turn to inspire other kids and talk to them about what they can achieve.”
The Youth Celebration Dinner is an opportunity for alumni to reconnect, for current Club members to enjoy the spotlight (and a red-carpet entrance!) and for the community to come together to give every child the chance for a great future.
“We’re overjoyed to have our 2004 Youth of the Year winner and all around amazing Club alumni, Bryant, joining us this year,” says Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford and Cecil Counties, Derek DeWitt. “We look forward to reuniting with Bryant along with several additional Club alumni and former staff who have all contributed and benefited from our mission.”
This year’s marquee sponsor is Richlin Catering & Events Center. Richlin’s President & Owner, Steven R. Vitali, and Co-Owner & Vice President, Mark A. Dardozzi, express the importance of supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford and Cecil Counties.
“Richlin Catering & Events Center is honored to be the marquee sponsor this year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County’s Annual Youth Celebration Dinner,” says Vitali and Dardozzi. “Like Richlin, the Clubs have a 25+ year rich history of making an impact on Harford County. We feel strongly that being a sponsor and supporting the Clubs not only helps the kids who are members today, but also helps to create healthy families and responsible citizens to ensure a vibrant community for the future. We look forward to growing our business so we can continue to grow our support of organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs.”
Sponsorship opportunities are available, and tickets are on sale for $50.00 apiece. All proceeds will directly support the services provided in Harford County by the Boys & Girls Clubs. To sponsor, purchase your tickets or learn more, visit bgcharfordcecil.org, call 410-272-0010 or visit facebook.com/bgcharfordcecil. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford and Cecil Counties thanks Harford Community College for hosting the event.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County inspires and enables all young people, especially those who need them most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. Established in 1990, the organization now serves more than 6,000 youth per year and operates Clubs in Aberdeen, Bel Air, Edgewood, and Havre de Grace, as well as summer programs at Camp Hidden Valley and the Aberdeen Swim Club. The Club is open to all youth ages 6 to 18 and provides positive youth development programs in five core areas: Character and Leadership Development; Health & Life Skills; Education & Career Development; the Arts; and Sports, Fitness and Recreation.