‘Youth of the Year’ and Hall of Fame celebration a hit at Boys & Girls Club

NASHUA – The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua buzzed with excitement Wednesday, as nearly 300 community members, event sponsors and club staff and members gathered for the annual Youth of the Year Dinner and Hall of Fame Celebration.

This honors the outstanding display of resilience and leadership from club teens, as well as the contributions of club supporters.

Chief Volunteer Officer Mary Jane King introduced the three individuals inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame for their volunteer work, growth of opportunities for youth members and commitment to the club’s mission.

“The Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame is a special honor given to an alumnus, volunteer, community partner, or former staff member, recognizing and memorializing their role in our club’s success,” King said.

The inductees included board member Teresa Gartner, club alum John Dionne and former staff member Joe Hungler.

Gartner has invested over 15 years of service to the club.

“During my first visit to the club, I was overwhelmed by the energy,” Gartner said. “Over the 17 years I’ve been involved, I’ve seen members swimming, participating in leadership programs, homework help, cultural art programs, sports; the list is endless.”

Dionne consistently supports the organization by treating club members to a summer field trip to a Boston Red Sox game every year.

“The vibe when you walk into the clubhouse has not changed one bit,” Dionne said.

“Everyone is equal, and somewhere within its four walls, everyone can discover a talent they did not know they had.”

Hungler is also a club alumnus and has served as a former staff member in Nashua. He is now CEO of the Lowell Boys & Girls Club.

“At the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua, it’s believed that our kids and teens deserve the best and should have the confidence to achieve anything they work at or prepare for,” Hungler said. “That culture of excellence is a major reason why the club, its members and its alumni continue to do great things and build great futures today.”

Serving as guest speaker at the event was Senior Director of Finance at BAE Systems and Boys & Girls Club Board member Jodi Coulter.

“At BAE Systems, we believe every child should be empowered with the tools to thrive, both personally and professionally,” Coulter said. “When I think of all the enriching experiences the club provides to these kids, as well as the lifelong relationships that start here, it’s so inspiring. BAE could not be more proud to support this incredible organization.”

The three Youth of the Year Finalists including Trinity, Allan and Johnny were then brought to the front of the room, as Director of Teen Services J.W. Williams got up to announce the 2019 winner.

“We are proud to announce that the 2019 Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua Youth of the Year is Trinity,” Williams said.

“The club has impacted my life in so many ways,” Trinity said. “My transformation from a shy, insecure child to an outgoing and confident teenager has been a long, but life-changing process. I am a very different person than I was when we moved to Nashua nine years ago. I consider myself a leader among my peers.”

As the 2019 winner, Trinity will receive a $1,000 scholarship and go on to compete in the state Youth of the Year competition in May at Saint Anselm College. The winner of the statewide competition receives $15,000 in additional scholarship money.

Trinity closed the night saying, “I am honored to be named this year’s Youth of the Year and look forward to proudly representing the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua.”