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National recognition for B & G Clubs boards, volunteers, staff

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured

Published on January 17, 2018 with No Comments

Several board members recognized at Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County and Northwest Indiana’s Board meetings on Dec. 18 are pictured including Chris White of The Times Media Group; Ben Ballou of Hodges & Davis, LLC; Tanya Leetz of Peoples Bank; Bonnie Coleman of Hodges & Davis, LLC; Michael Simpson of M.E. Simpson Co., Inc.; Steve Disney of River Forest Community School Corporation; Jeffrey Strack of Strack & Van Til; Larry Moore retired from Computer Services, Inc.; Michael Baird retired from BMO Harris Bank; (kneeling) Julie Bieszczat of Barney Enterprises; and Jeff Leetz of Indiana Beverage.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County and Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana’s boards of directors gathered Dec. 18 for their last meetings of the year before becoming Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana.

By tradition, the December meeting celebrates achievements and to nationally recognize Board accomplishments. Since the inception of the National Awards Program in 1947, Boys & Girls Clubs of America encourages local Club organizations to foster continued support of dedicated volunteers and staff by presenting National Awards at Club meetings, functions, and events.

Ryan Smiley, president and CEO of both organizations, took time to reflect and recognize outstanding dedication of board members, community volunteers and staff with several distinguished national Boys & Girls Clubs of America awards, including:

Service to Youth Awards: Given to Board members for dedicated years and service to a Boys & Girls Clubs organization, the following Board members received this award: Leslie Plesac – 5 years of service; Timothy Rice and Larry Moore – 10 years of service; Michael Simpson, Chareice White, and Jeffrey Strack – 15 years of service; and Michael Saks – 30 Years of Service.

National Bronze Medallion: Given to Board volunteers for outstanding service to boys and girls and exemplary service to a Boy & Girls Clubs organization. Jeff Leetz of Indiana Beverage and Julie Bieszczat of Barney Enterprises received this award.

National Silver Medallion: Given to Board volunteers for outstanding service to Boys & Girls and exemplary service to a Club and the national movement. Ben Ballou of Hodges & Davis, LLC and Michael Simpson of M.E. Simpson Co., Inc. were honored with this award.

National Professional Service Award: Given to outstanding professional staff who dedicate their life’s work to the Boys & Girls Clubs Movement. Recipients of this award include Rosemarie Joiner, director of the John Will Anderson Club in Gary and Ronald Ranta, director of the Duneland Club in Chesterton.

National Award of Merit: Given to individuals outside of the Boys & Girls Clubs Movement but have given outstanding support to local Clubs. Steve Disney, superintendent of the River Forest Community School Corporation was given this honor for his work in providing a new home for the Lake Station Club and its club members.

Other recognition included the dedication of ten board Members serving on the due diligence committee which helped to decide and continues to guide the merging of both organizations into one. These board volunteers include Chris White of The Times Media Company; Timothy D. Rice of Lakeside Wealth Management; Larry Moore retired executive of Computer Services, Inc.; Tanya Leetz of Peoples Bank; Michael Simpson of M.E. Simpson Co., Inc.; Michael Baird, retired executive of BMO Harris; Bonnie Coleman of Hodges & Davis, LLC; Julie Bieszczat of Barney Enterprises; David Hollenbeck of Blachly, Tabor, Bozik & Hartman; and Ben Ballou of Hodges & Davis, LLC.

Also, four dedicated and long-serving Board members resigning their board service were thanked and recognized. They included: George Vrabel, with 21 years of service; Analisa Warring four years; Gary Maxwell, 23 years; and Dr. Edward Williams, 28 years.

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the two clubs representing 10 community groups merged into one entity, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana and Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County has been serving youth for over 65 years collectively. Annual membership is $35, with financial assistance available to those who qualify. Visit the new website, www.bgcgreaternwi.org.

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