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Boys & Girls Club "Rockin Bedford" Raises $70,000 For Youth
Updated November 18, 2015 8:07 AM
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(BEDFORD) - The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County held it's annual auction and appreciation dinner Friday night at the Shamrock Center raising $70,000 to support their mission of enabling young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

The evening's event culminated in a live auction which concluded with sponsorship opportunities for targeted programming aimed to provide an enduring impact on the county's youth, helping prepare them for a great future.

Significant investments were made by attendees to provide programs to youth focused on two key areas integral to future workforce success in the region. "Chef's Corner" will offer youth exposure and experience in the culinary arts, while "Weird Science" focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

"As Chief of Staff at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division I've seen first-hand the importance of reaching our children early in their educational journey to cultivate interest and ensure we are developing the workforce of tomorrow," commented Angie Lewis, who also serves as the Boys & Girls Club Board President. "Weird Science and Chef's Corner are programs that align well with future workforce needs at the region's largest employers, Naval Support Activity Crane and Cook Group, which includes the French Lick Resort."

Lewis noted the contributions of new leadership at the club, Jodi Martin, Interim Chief Professional Officer, and Catey Reeves, Director of the Teen Center, as integral to the development of diverse programming geared toward appealing to interests of all youth, while helping them connect to resources to build a greater future.

Awards presented included the "National Service to Youth Award" given to Sandi Smoot in recognition of her service and commitment to the youth of Lawrence County.

Dennis Gillespie received an award in recognition of his volunteer service to the club, as did Steve Warren, Scott Saunders and Richard Burton. Chris Galloway was also honored after presenting a donation of $5,000 raised for the Boys & Girls Club at the annual Bedford Half Marathon.

The evening's festivities kicked-off with a performance by the Future Leaders dance team, comprised of club members ranging in age from first grade through high school.

As Melissa Lewis served as Master of Ceremonies of the entertainment portion, the event also showcased the work and talent of two teens from the newly formed Keystone Club. Attendees enjoyed dinner catered by the Stone Pig, and music provided by Gran Torino.

Event sponsors included STIMULUS Engineering, Bedford Federal, Dr. Jim Sowders, Lineal Contracting, The Eye Center, SAIC, French Lick Resort, the City of Bedford, Vision Group Property Development, Evans Development, and the Short Family.

Cary Bledsoe, COO of STIMULUS Engineering commented, "As a part of the business community within this region, STIMULUS is honored to work with partners who are investing in young adults and invigorating young minds so they can find jobs and succeed in a 21st century economy."

"Everyone has a role in ensuring the success of the next generation, which will in turn improve the long-term strength of our workforce and our economy," said Steve Ferguson, Chairman of the Board of Cook Group. "The French Lick Resort is proud to sponsor this event, as the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County partners with others to fulfil our responsibility to our young people."

A promotional video produced for the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County by Bedford North Lawrence student, Braden Baker, also debuted at the event. The video can be viewed at

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