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2014 Booster Banquet


Drew Brees, quarterback for the National Football League’s New Orleans’ Saints, brought a message of encouragement and hope to Boys Town youth at the annual Boys Town Booster Banquet, held May 6. More than 1,800 attended the event at the Embassy Suites Omaha-La Vista Conference Center.

A native of Austin, TX, Brees captivated the crowd with his sincerity as he answered questions from event emcee Ross Jernstrom of WOWT regarding his football career, family and his own struggles to overcome adversity.

Just a few short years ago while quarterback for the San Diego Chargers, Brees dislocated his throwing shoulder, an injury that could have easily ended his football career. Instead of giving up, he worked that much harder and came back stronger than ever to lead the team to a successful season. He credits this injury with the success he’s enjoying with the Saints. “You just have to know adversity equals opportunity,” Brees shared with the audience. “If it wasn’t for that injury, I never would have ended up on the path I am now, in a community that I love. It’s hard to see adversity as a good thing at the time, but you have to have faith.”

His message resonated with Boys Town youth, who often come from difficult backgrounds and have lacked support before coming to Boys Town. Once here, Boys Town professionals work with these boys and girls to rebuild their trust and provide an opportunity for them to learn the life lessons many take for granted. Team sports are an integral part of this care.

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For many youth, Boys Town athletics is their first opportunity to participate in any kind of organized sport. Boys Town coaches focus on the team sport experience building character, not the final score. As Sam, the 2014 Competing with Character Boys Town Male award winner, told the audience Tuesday night, “This award is more than just a plaque on the wall. This is an award is about testament, hard work, resilence, team work and determination that we Cowboys try to demonstrate on the court and in the classroom. This award means that even when things are tough, we hold our heads up high, knowing that we played with pride.”

The annual Booster Banquet honors Boys Town student-athletes for their outstanding accomplishments throughout the season. Youths Daquan and Annie were named the Outstanding Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively, for their tremendous commitment to Boys Town athletics. Sam and Samatha received the male and female Competing with Character awards.

Isaiah – Boys Town Alum

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Samantha – Female Competing with Character Winner

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Sam – Male Competing with Character Winner

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Eight Boys Town alumni also were recognized for their athletic achievements during their time at Boys Town with their induction into the Boys Town Sports Hall of Fame. Marylyn “Whitey” Myers (1952), Raymond G. Broy (1954), Roy Burns (1961) and James A. Johnson (1961) were inducted posthumously while Albert M. “Bo” Rhudy (1960), George L. Buckler (1964), Kenneth L. Geddes (1966) and Robert S. Schmit (1969) were honored at the event.

The Boys Town Boosters were formed more than 40 years ago to ensure that any child who is at Boys Town has the opportunity to play sports. Every year, the Booster Banquet brings Boys Town and the Omaha community together to recognize Boys Town’s student-athletes and raise funds for sports equipment, uniforms and other necessities. This support of Boys Town athletics guarantees youth have an outlet where they can have fun and learn valuable life lessons. The 2015 Boys Town Booster Banquet is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5. If you are interested in learning more about the Boosters or would like to join, contact Herb Hames at 402-498-3322 or herb.hames@boystown.org.