Young Life piecing together community

Opinion: Kosey Corner

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By Joanne Kosey

Columnist

At each place setting was a key chain -- the fob was a piece of wood in the shape of a puzzle piece. Etched on the puzzle piece was "RB Young Life," a gift to all guests reminding them they are a piece of the puzzle that makes up the group at Riverside-Brookfield High School. The key chains were given at the Riverside Brookfield Young Life and WyldLife's annual fundraising banquet on Feb. 9 at the Riverside Golf Club.

Started in 1941, Young Life provides teens a place to make friends and help build spiritual growth. Participants in the program have the opportunity to help serve the community and are under the guidance of trained leaders.

This year's banquet introduced Chesleigh Jarrett, the new RBYL area director, and the audience heard presentations from Nora Hernandez and her daughters on what the program has done for them. 

Over 25 students stepped and with a short sentence what Young Life means to them. Davonte Mikell, a college student and RBYL leader, gave a very moving talk about how the program had helped him when, as a high school student, he was homeless and in need of guidance. Young Life stepped in. 

As guests heard from Young Life's director, Jake Suiste, committee chair Jim Bell and finance committee member Julie Tucek, it was obvious we are the missing pieces of the puzzle and were in attendance to give their financial and physical support. RBYL receives no outside financial support and exists through donations from the community so they may continue their mission. It is recognized as a 501c3.

To learn more about Young Life or WyldLife (for middle school students) go to www.rbyl.com.

The Riverside Township Lions Club is seeking individuals to be recipients of the Jansky Award and the Person of the Year Award.

The Jansky Award, named after the late Bill Jansky, recognizes individuals for their community service. Nominations will be accepted until Feb. 28. The recipient will be honored at a meeting of the organization and their name added to the plaque, which is located in the main hall of the Riverside Township Hall.

The Person of the Year Award recognizes someone who has shown exemplary volunteerism for benefit of the community over a long period of time. Nominations will be accepted until the end of April. 

The Person of the Year will ride in the July 4 parade in Riverside and honored at a dinner held at the Riverside Golf Club in the fall.

Recipients are selected by two different committees made up of Lions Club members.  Nominations may be sent to alexandergallegos5@yahoo.com. Information remains confidential.

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