SIERRA VISTA — The Boys and Girls Club of Sierra Vista celebrated its annual Great Futures Dinner Oct. 16, where community citizens were recognized and celebrated for their accomplishments.
Jay Hamwright, chief professional officer of the Boys and Girls Club, said this was the first year the organization recognized their alumni of the year. The recognitions were given to those who have made a difference for the organization.
“As a Boys and Girls Club alumni myself, I know exactly the impact it has on the club and the exact impact it has on kids and how much of a difference it makes in kids lives,” Hamwright said.
“These are the standouts, the above and beyond, that deserve to be recognized a little bit more,” he added.
Dr. Ric BoyerDr. Ric Boyer earned both the 2021 Alumni and Man of the Year. He is a university professor and a former attorney. When Boyer was 10 years old, his family relocated from a family farm in New York to California for work. Going from having no playmates to joining a street gang practically overnight, Boyer found himself one day meeting the executive director of the San Pedro Boys and Girls Club (referred to as the Boys Club at the time) by accident. The director placed Boyer on the organization’s football team, and the Boys and Girls Club then became a hangout for Boyer.
“He’s the perfect example of how the club changes and saves lives, going from a street gang to the boys club football team,” Hamwright said.
Boyer said the club helped turn his life around.
“I’ve always had this affection and debt for the Boys and Girls Club because I know I would have been in a lot of trouble had I continued on that road,” Boyer said.
After moving to Sierra Vista in 2001, Boyer got involved with the Boys and Girls Club again and worked on their board. He moved up through leadership roles eventually becoming president of the organization and created their first annual golf tournament.
Boyer said that accidentally stumbling upon the Boys and Girls Club that day changed his life. He doesn’t like the thought that there’s kids out there that may come from broken families or parents who are always working that need that same type of environment that he discovered.
“They don’t have that safety net, if you will,” he said. “What are they going to do?”
Tammy MoroResident Tammy Moro earned Woman of the Year at the dinner and has been working with and supporting the Boys and Girls Club for the last two decades. She has been serving periodically on the board and involved in supporting the club through different fundraising activities.
“Her understanding of finances has brought the board’s and the club staff’s understanding to a new level,” Hamwright said. “She always makes decisions with the kids in her mind and in her heart.”
“It’s big shoes to fill, Moro said. ‘As always, I’m grateful to live in a community that is so supportive and giving to various organizations that helped our community and keep it healthy and vibrant.
The board, past and present, and the staff are tremendous to work with,” Moro said.
“It’s very much a team effort. We’re all hard workers and contribute to the success of the club.”
Kera MenziesKera Menzies, manager at Taco Bell and Sierra Vista resident of 33 years, has been working with the Boys and Girls Club for the last couple of years and earned recognition for Volunteer of the Year.
“I love everything the Boys and Girls Club stands for and the kids are just amazing. I love to hear their stories. I like to get involved with them. They all each have an amazing story and overcome a lot.”
Menzies said she enjoyed working with the organization’s Youth of the Year program and said that the program allows for kids to go somewhere and have their voices be heard. She had also previously been the judge for the Youth of the Year competition.
“She’s been a phenomenal volunteer with a big heart,” Hamwright said.
The franchise owner of the Taco Bell that Menzies works for sponsors the Boys and Girls Club, while Menzies assists in providing support in catering for any of the organization’s events.
“I don’t do what I do for recognition, I do it because I just want to give back them for everything that they do for those kids,” she said.