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7th Annual Awards & Recognition Breakfast

Kids and education were celebrated at the Boys & Girls Club of the Bighorns 7th Annual Awards & Recognition Breakfast on Wednesday, November 2, 2022. The breakfast honored beloved teacher Carol Ruby for her impact in thousands of students’ lives during her 45 years of teaching. Preliminary dollars raised at the event total $52,545. All proceeds support impactful programming at the Club.

In awarding Carol Ruby with the Distinguished Service Award, Scott Berglund, an occupational therapist with Johnson County School District #1, said, “I credit my love for learning to the teacher who loved me.” He shared how the love Mrs. Ruby showed him impacted him through the years, including helping him to be strong after the loss of his daughter. Fellow educator Billy Farris likened working alongside Carol to working with football legend John Elway and praised her dedication to staff, students and the community. Upon receiving the award, touched by emotion, Carol highlighted the community: “Johnson County has the best students and parents that there are, and I am so thankful to have had my time to teach so many students and to help them to know that they are loved. You are loved.”

Keynote speaker Gian Paul Gonzalez–a teacher for at-risk youth, founder of the Hope + Future Youth Center and chaplain for the New York Giants–said he hopes to have the same impact on his students as Carol has had on hers. “Fame is what we do for ourselves, but greatness is about what we do for others,” he said. Gian Paul inspired guests in attendance to go “All In” in their lives and give their best in commitment to what is most important to them. “’All In’ is not a slogan; it’s a lifestyle. It’s a commitment,” he said. After the breakfast, he spoke to the Buffalo Bison football players and encouraged them to be committed to each other as a team in advance of their 2022 WHSAA State Football Championship game on Friday night against Cody.

Club Director Bonnie Swett shared her excitement in working with the kids and watching them grow and discover their full potential. Club parent Kelly Buckingham thanked the staff for creating a rich learning environment that challenges her daughter, who has a rare birth defect, and her son to try new things. She shared how the Club has helped form her daughter into a leader who now inspires others, despite her health challenges.  Junior Youth of the Year finalist, Emmit M., described how the Club has helped him become the best version of himself. In honor of the impact of the Club in the community, Mayor Shane Schrader proclaimed the day “Boys & Girls Club Appreciation and Awareness Day in Buffalo.”

Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo serves 329 youth and reaches hundreds more through outreach programs. The Club provides out-of-school programming for youth in a safe environment with caring Youth Development Professionals and volunteers. Club programs are centered on academic success, good character & citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. All donations made to the Club support its $504,000 annual budget by providing homework help, Cowboy Ethics, and programs like Club Unplugged, where kids turn off screens and explore the outdoors. They receive financial literacy training, physical fitness opportunities, and free snacks and meals.

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Main Club
1701 E "K" St.
Casper, WY 82601
Club number: 307.234.2456
Program Support: 307.235.4079
EIN: 23-7060727