After months of preparation, practice and hard work, three Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri members have succeed in receiving the Club’s highest honor – Youth of the Year.

La Monte Site member Gabby Buretz, Green Ridge Site member Olivia Harrison, and Cole Camp Site member Jake Rogers were named the Elementary, Junior and Teen Youth of the Year respectively, during a special event held Thursday.

Youth of the Year Teen winner Jake stands with YOY judges, Dr. Joanna Anderson, Tollie Rowe, Jessica Craig and Chelsey Gallagher.

“The Youth of the Year event is always a heart-warming time where extraordinary youth are showcased for exemplary service and personal achievements,” said Executive Director Gary Beckman. “Gabby, Olivia and Jake model what the Club hopes to instill in every member to be an active participant in their school, Club and community, always enhancing the lives of others.”

Seventeen local children representing 11 Boys & Girls Club sites were nominated for the 2018 Youth of the Year and all participated in the final event – giving a speech in front of family, friends and the panel of YOY judges – at the Thompson Conference Center on the campus of State Fair Community College.

YOY judges Dr. Joanna Anderson, Jessica Craig, Chelsey Gallagher and Tollie Rowe made the difficult decision of choosing the three winners after reviewing their applications, conducting in-person interviews and listening to speeches.

“This year’s event was a wonderful showcase of the remarkable young people we work with every day,” said Director of Operations Tyler Hudson. “Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and especially Gabby, Olivia and Jake – we look forward to their continued success.”