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Boys & Girls Club honors top members
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From left, Jon Cardoza, director of operations and programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manteca, and executive director Charlie Halford paid tribute to Devon Garcia as the 2009 Youth of Year. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
Devon Garcia and Leslie Hernandez earned Youth of the Year honors Thursday for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manteca / Lathrop.

Garcia, who is a member of the Manteca club, was recognized at the annual awards ceremony at Chez Shari’s for his efforts as an active participant, volunteer work, and his willingness to spend time with younger club members.

“Without the Boys & Girls Clubs, I don’t know where I would be today,” he said.

Hernandez is active at the Lathrop club.

According to site director Mark McCool, she helps out at the tutoring club’s power hour and even spoke out at the annual Telethon fundraiser.

“An important goal for Leslie is to always make her mom proud,” he said.

She and Garcia, as the local Youths of the Year, thus qualified for the regional event.

Edna Magana and Alonso Vera were also in the running for the top Lathrop award while Alan Alameda and Miguel Gamez were vying for the Manteca top honor.

Alameda won the Sportsmanship Award.

But it was Armancio Rosas of Manteca who claimed the most honors – he won Junior Achievement, Social Recreation Member of the Year, and the “At-Large” Award.

Angelina Martinez rounded out the Manteca honors. The youngster was selected Educational Person of the Year.

Gabby Mascarinas earned the same honor for Lathrop.

Artist of the Year went to Adelia Sobreo while Social Recreational Person was Alonso Vera, and top Athlete was awarded to Joey Valencia.

In addition, Edna Magana earned Lathrop’s Sportsmanship Award while Margie Acosta took home the Junior Achievement.

Finally, Robin Taberna of Taberna Tae Kwon Do Academy recognized Brendon Tabufunda as the 2009 Student of the Year.

“All of our kids are the Cream of the Crop (for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manteca / Lathrop),” said executive director Charlie Halford. “Of the 1,300, we had to narrow it down to these members.”