Children play an integral part in our lives. They are extremely special. Yesterday, I was honored to have been a judge at the Boys and Girls Club, Connie Waters Memorial ‘Youth of the Year’ scholarship breakfast hosted by Sunrider International. Judges also included several current and former board members from the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce, legislators and several business executives.


Our initial task was to select winners in three different age group categories in a photography competition and three winners in an art competition. The photography was extraordinary, but the artwork captured my heart. I especially loved the use of crayons, by a child in the 6 – 8 year old category capturing the forest. Attention to detail by this young artist was incredible.


Mark Waronek, Master of Ceremonies, individually called three girls to the podium. Each girl delivered a speech defining their incredible journey and their dedication to creating a successful lifestyle. Each of them also provided details of how important the Boys and Girls Clubs of the South Bay is to them.


As the judge’s votes were being tallied, Lou Baglietto, Board Chair, spoke about the mission of the Boys and Girls Club, “To inspire and enable all young people, especially those that need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” He went on to thank the staff and board members of the Boys and Girls Club of the South Bay for their dedication in assisting children.


Mark Waronek returned to the stage to announce the winner of the speech contest and exclaimed that she will be moving on to the next level of competition.


I am personally grateful for yesterday’s experience. Growing up as a child in Buena Park, I was a product of the Boys and Girls Club. I fondly remember meeting friends, creating pieces of art work and playing a multitude of different games.


My hat goes off to executive director, Mike Herrera, Mark Waronek, Lou Baglietto and all of those who worked behind the scenes to ensure the ‘Great Futures Start Here’ annual breakfast was seamless.


The Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce thanks the Boys and Girls Club of the South Bay for being a long time member.

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