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​Jon Dorenbos Entertains at Booster Banquet

Jon Dorenbos had the audience on their feet at the 51st annual Booster Banquet held May 1. In front of nearly 1,400 Boys Town supporters, Dorenbos wowed the crowd with his magic tricks as he shared how he overcame his difficult past to be successful – forgiveness.

"I had the misconception that if I forgave my father, I was choosing sides," explained Dorenbos after sharing that when he was 12, his father murdered his mother. "But when I realized I could forgive and move forward, I understood I wasn't choosing sides. I was choosing my own future. I was choosing to be known for what I accomplished, not what my father did."

Now a successful magician and NFL veteran, his message resonated with Boys Town youth, who often come from difficult backgrounds. 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.

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 Hannah, the 2018 Competing with Character Boys Town Female award winner, told the audience Tuesday night, "Boys Town helped me realize what an important role sports play in my life – and will continue to play in my success. I've realized who I'm truly meant to be as a leader for my team."
 
The annual Booster Banquet honors Boys Town student-athletes for their outstanding accomplishments throughout the season. Dashawn was named Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year and Katie was named Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year, respectively, for their tremendous commitment to Boys Town athletics. Hannah and Ti'Jiah received the female and male Competing with Character awards.
 
Five 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. Thomas C. Robbins (1964), David L. McGuire (1965), Percy L. Kight (1968) and Ronald J. White (1966) were inducted posthumously while Nathaniel L. McKinney (1968) was honored at the event.

The Boys Town Boosters were formed more than 50 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 2019 Boys Town Booster Banquet is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7. If you are interested in learning more about the Boosters or would like to join, please email Herb Hames at herb.hames@boystown.org.​​