A Carson teenager who works three jobs to support his family brought audience members to tears Wednesday as he told of the difference Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada made in his life.
Josh Minter, 18, helps support his mother and three younger brothers. In pursuit of his high school diploma, he has been attending night school in Carson City and plans to attend college in the fall.
Minter was awarded the youth of the year award in 2002 and was honored again Wednesday by the organization he refers to as "my club," which he joined when he was 8 years old.
Minter started participating in the many activities offered at the club and later became the part-time athletic assistant. Minter credits the experience with gaining a varsity position on the football team in high school.
The event was held in honor of businesses who have helped the club, which will serve more than 400 children a day this summer.
Recognized during the program were Carson City Toyota and Capital Ford, which donated $10,000 in a check presented by General Manager Dana Whaley, and the Nevada Appeal and Capital City Entertainment, also $10,000-level sponsors.
Emcee Jeff Ackerman, former Nevada Appeal publisher, hosted the second annual luncheon, which kicked off the "Next Generation Club" annual gift campaign.
"I got it here in this same room actually," Minter said of his award.
While Minter may have triumphed over adversity, his club is facing hard times.
With an operating budget of $1.3 million in 2003, the organization lost $14,000 in funding because of a lack of pass-through funds from the state.
Its $15,000 "Street Smart" program also ended up on the chopping block.
At the local level, the general operating funds were reduced by $9,300 and the Mentor Center program was cut by $13,000.
In all, the club is trying to make up $128,000 shortfall since January because of budget shortages and a difficult economy, according to board president Lori Haney.
The club will try to make up most of that difference through increased donations.
You can help:
To make a donation, call the club at 882-8820.