“Thank you, Coach. Thank you for believing in me.”
I heard those words recently as one of the student-athletes I coach hugged me. She has just been awarded ‘Most Dedicated’ of the Boys Town cheer squad at the annual Booster Banquet and she wanted to thank me. All I could do was thank her right back.
At Boys Town, I wear many different hats. I am not only an employee in the marketing department, but I am also one of the cheerleading coaches. Alongside my co-coach, I have the pleasure of working with many young women.
Once a year, I also have the pleasure of monitoring a table of student-athletes at the Booster Banquet. It’s easily one of my favorite days of the year.
The Boys Town Booster Banquet is an annual fundraiser hosted in Omaha, Nebraska (Boys Town’s National Headquarters) to support the athletes and athletic programs at Boys Town. For the student-athletes that are celebrated at the Booster Banquet, it’s a night that’s truly all about them. They get to dress up in their nicest attire , enjoy a fun-filled evening and listen to some incredible speakers (like this year’s guest – Duke University all-star and two-time NBA champion Shane Battier).
This year, as I sat at my table (next to Boys Town’s newly elected mayor, Jennifer Nguyen, and the track team’s Most Outstanding athlete), I looked around. I watched as these kids from all over the country celebrated one-another.
I also watched them sit in awe of former Boys Town youth and college athlete and graduate Tim Thompson. They were equally impressed by Mr. Battier, who encouraged them to keep looking forward and to never stop attacking the next play in a game, the next test in school or the next obstacle in life.
This year’s Booster Banquet was another success. Money was raised for the Boys Town athletic department, which will make a big difference in the lives of so many youth. More importantly, the student-athletes left feeling celebrated and proud of their accomplishments.
I can hardly wait for May 3, 2016 when the next Booster Banquet rolls around. I know I’ll feel just as thankful as I did at this year’s.