Source: Sherman Publications

Youth Recognition Night
‘We have a great future in store for us’

by Susan Bromley

April 30, 2014

Brandon Twp.-The message sent to young volunteers at the Annual Youth Recognition Night was “U Rock.”

Appreciative members of the community, including businesses, organizations, school administrators, librarians, senior citizens, hope the students received their thanks loud and clear.

About 300 people attended Youth Recogition Night on April 24 at the Brandon High School cafeteria. Brandon Groveland Youth Assistance, which sponsors the event, honored 143 students for their efforts to improve themselves, as well as the lives of others in the community. Twelve dignitaries were on hand to shake hands with children as young as 5, such as Emma Connor, a kindergartener at Oakwood Elementary who volunteers in her classroom, as well as teenagers who are seniors in high school and volunteer to do yard work for senior citizens and disabled adults, or do mission work with their church.

“It went outstanding, it really gives you hope for a bright future to know we have such outstanding leaders already,” said Fran Hotchkiss, event chair. “We have a great future in store for us.”

Honored with Gold Star Awards were Marissa Stewart, an eighth grader at Brandon Middle School who volunteered her time to ensure BMS had a concession stand; and Michelle Purgiel, a fourth grader at Brandon Fletcher Intermediate School, who made loom bracelets and sold them at school, donating all the proceeds to the Community Christmas Toy Store to purchase gifts for children in need in the district.

“The bracelets were a huge success,” said BFIS Principal Carol Bogner, who nominated Michelle for an award. “Thank you, Michelle, for your generous heart!”

Youth Recognition Night honors school-age residents within the Brandon School District boundaries nominated for awards on the basis of voluntary services and/or exceptional personal efforts. Categories include exceptional service to others; achievement by an individual who has overcome personal challenges and/or set an example for others; heroism/outstanding humanitarian act; and exceptional act by an individual within a club or organization.

Among the honorees are students who have helped their fellow classmates, participated in the Peers Making Peace mediation program, organized fundraisers to help various charities, donated their hair to cancer patients through Locks of Love, helped out during library programs, assisted in the Teens and Seniors Rocking and Raking program, gone on mission trips to other states or within Michigan, and various other volunteer activities.