Girls Club names members, volunteers of year

Published: Thursday, January 2, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 1, 2003 at 9:27 p.m.
Community members and children alike were honored recently at the 17th annual Girls Club of Alachua County annual meeting and awards ceremony.
Approximately 100 Girls Club members, parents and friends attended the event, where United Way Executive Director Steve Reardon installed the 2003 board of directors' officers.
In addition, specific awards were given and several special friends and donors were also recognized. Participants from the after-school program provided entertainment by singing "Can a Woman?" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
The new officers for the Girls Club Board of Directors include: Linda Ireland, president; Alan Morrow, president-elect; Geraldine Ward, vice president of community relations; Carol Oyenarte, vice president of fund-raising; Sharon Sperling, vice president of program development; Lin Pelter, secretary; Myra Morgan, treasurer and Beth Mills, immediate past president.
The 2003 Girls Club Foundation Board of Directors includes: Marilyn Tubb, president; Johnny Mallory, vice president; Bob Bryan, secretary and Bob Wigglesworth, treasurer.
A special award is presented yearly by the foundation to an exceptional individual or group that has put forth a special effort to make a difference in a girl or group of girls' lives in Alachua County.
This year, the "Give A Girl A Hand" Award was given to Thelma Fletcher, a long-time friend and supporter of the Girls Club.
The single most generous contributor to the organization, she has also served on both the operations and foundation boards of directors.
This year, three organizations were honored for their outstanding contributions to the Girls Club. Awards for Booster Organization of the Year were presented to Beechler's Printing, Group 5 & Associates and Clay Electric.
Beechler's Printing printed 2,000 color brochures, which were designed by Group 5 & Associates, for the club. Besides designing the new brochures, Group 5 & Associates also designed the Girls Club Web site,
Clay Electric was honored for printing thousands of envelopes to be used for the club's annual direct-mail campaign in addition to printing hundreds of invitations for the night's event.
Frank Davis received the Board Member of the Year Award. Davis has served on the board of directors for six years, and he served as treasurer for two of those years.
He readily agreed to act as chair of the Scramble for Kids when the acting chairman resigned. A difficult job to take on, Davis helped to make the Scramble a huge success in May.
Another award recognizing community dedication is the Girls Club Volunteer of the Year award.
This year's recipient was Terri Cakmis for her active involvement in both the athletic and after-school programs. She has volunteered countless hours to ensure the success of each and every Girls Club member.
The 2002 Parent of the Year award was presented to Kevin Gunning. This award is given to exceptional parents who demonstrate continued involvement with their daughters' participation in the programs offered at the Girls Club.
Both of his daughters, Shea and Kathryn, are active members of the Girls Club, participating in the after-school and summer programs in addition to being enrolled in specialty classes.
Gunning, a local electrician, has donated his services and skills as well as a new American flag for the flagpole.
The award for Alumna of the Year went to Danielle Williams. Williams was heavily involved in the after-school program after, at the age of 11, her counselors identified her as a natural-born leader.
She went on to obtain her degree in exercise and sport sciences, and graduated from the University of Florida College of Law in December. Once she passes the bar exam, she will pursue a career in either financial or sports law.
In addition to recognizing parents and volunteers, the Girls Club also recognized individual members. This year, four young women were the recipients of the Danielle Smith Athletic Award.
The award, named in memory of Danielle Smith, is presented to the girl or girls who have shown not only exceptional athletic ability, but also a positive all-around attitude.
The 2003 winners were Allee Cakmis, Deadria Hilliard, Deirdre Hilliard and Julie Liddon. All four girls attend local middle schools and have participated in at least three sports offered through the athletic program at the Girls Club.
Each year, the Girl of the Year Award is presented to a girl who has continuously demonstrated strong character and acted as an exemplary role model for other club members.
Sydney Maynard, a third-grader at Norton Elementary, was given the honor this year. Her positive and helpful attitude, outgoing personality and respectful behavior make her a joy to be around for both her peers and her family.
In addition to these awards, a special thanks was extended to special friends and donors, including Domino's Pizza and Prange's Plantscapes whose generous donations contributed immensely to the evening's success.
All honorees received plaques, trophies or certificates.

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