Story and Photos by Kendi Cox
SHAWNEE, OK – On Tuesday, April 15th, The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Shawnee held its 17th Annual Don Bodard Friend of Youth Award Banquet, honoring Sue Nelson as this year’s recipient.
The Don Bodard Friend of Youth Award was established in 1998 to honor leaders who have made a difference in the lives of young people. It was named in honor of the late Don Bodard, along with his wife, Nancy, who have been supporters of The Salvation Army for many years, as well as other youth programs in Shawnee. The Bodards have been very concerned about the Boys & Girls Club and its effect on youth in our community. Mr. Bodard had a special commitment to the youth of Shawnee, and it was his desire that youth, especially those in at-risk situations, would have a safe place to play after school and receive wholesome values as they grow up. It was natural to name this award after him.
Sue Nelson was nominated and received this award for her countless hours of volunteer work with the Salvation Army of Shawnee, serving on both the Advisory Board and Women’s Auxiliary, her volunteer work with the International Youth Finals Rodeo (IFYR) and Junior Livestock shows, and for the over 100 “adopted” grandchildren she mentors. She sacrifices of herself and goes above and beyond for everyone, especially the youth in Shawnee, which made her the perfect candidate for this award. The Salvation Army is honored to have Sue as a part of our organization, as she is a constant reminder of what “Doing the Most Good” is really about.
The Annual Banquet this year also served as a Grand Re-opening for The Boys and Girls Club of Shawnee. The Avedis Foundation granted The Boys & Girls Club $55,000 in 2013 to fund air conditioning in the gymnasium and a remodel of the existing Club.