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Soroptimists give awards to students

Staff reports

Soroptimists International of Carson Valley has selected four Douglas High School students to receive the Youth Citizenship Award.

Matthew Wilcks, Andrew Hines, Blake Hennessy-York and Tiffany Sanchez were recognized at a recent Soroptimist luncheon meeting. They were each presented with a $500 check and introduced to Soroptimist members and scholarship judges from the community.

The judges were Marsha Burgess, retired president of Greater Nevada Credit Union; Helaine Jesse, vice president of institutional advancement for Western Nevada Community College; and Barbara Reed, Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer.

Matthew Wilcks was recognized for his work with the Chukar Club and Nevada Youth Range camp where he assisted in guzzler watering installations and the release of hundreds of chukar. He also is a member of the Douglas County Engine Co. where he helped set up the computer system and has been selected as chief of the cadet program. He says he is following in his grandfather’s footsteps as a member of the engine company. He is a member of St. Gall Catholic Church and serves is DHS senior class representative. His favorite school service projects were the food drive, “Trick or Treat for Dollars” and the Easter Egg Hunt. Matthew was a captain for the varsity football team and has wrestled for eight years, qualifying for the state tournament.

Andrew Hines was selected for his community work as roller hockey referee in a youth league where he donated his salary back to the league. He is also active in Boy Scouts, and for his Eagle project, worked on protecting cottonwood trees from beavers. He also worked on the food drive and cemetery cleanup. He has been captain of the Douglas High cross-country team for two years and played on the DHS hockey team. Andrew has been awarded the outstanding musician award and participated in the honor band. He plans to study engineering.

The community activities Blake Hennessy-York has worked on included many community dance performances benefiting charities such as the Carson Valley Community Food Closet, “I Can” program, senior residences and AIDS research. He has been a St. Teresa’s catholic altar server for eight years and is a youth ministry teen leader. He was elected student body president at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School as a 9th grader and as junior class president at Douglas High. He worked on prom and as vice president of Block D Letterman’s Club he worked on gifts for the Family Support Council. He also was a delegate to the American Legion Nevada Boys State 2000.

Tiffany Sanchez is a member of Block D Letterman’s Club and has worked on reading programs for elementary schools and a house painting project for a cancer victim. She is a member of Key Club, and every Friday of last year, attended Bingo at Barton Skilled Nursing at Virginia Creek. She has played basketball for three years and is student body secretary this year at DHS. She serves St. Gall as a youth lector and retreat leader and is scheduled to work this year on a house building project through “Habitat for Humanity.” Tiffany is a member of Amnesty International.

Soroptimists also presented a new award this year, the Violet Richardson Award to Honor Young Women for Volunteer Action. The winner, Julia Rhodes, was presented a $1,500 check and will be entered in district level competition for further awards. Rhodes was recognized for making the community a better place through her volunteer efforts, especially actions that benefit women or girls. Her community activities include volunteering at the Community Pregnancy Center where she cleans and organizes the clothing room and also helps with administrative work. She visits retirement facilities with her church youth group.