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Youth Court Event Highlights Achievement
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Al the Almond representing the Modesto Nuts and Mr. Pickles had a friendly dance competition for all to enjoy in the parking lot of Galaxy Theatres. - photo by VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS


Accomplishments of local youths were front and center at the recent Youth Court Benefit Dinner and Awards Ceremony hosted by Armando Reyes. The event was staged on behalf of the Center for Human Services (CHS) at the Galaxy Theatres parking lot in Riverbank on Wednesday, Sept. 11.

A mix of businesses and vendors set up booths in the parking lot, offering food and beverages as a crowd filtered in to attend graduation ceremonies for the new Youth Court members.

Boni’s Panaderia from Riverbank had a table with a variety of fresh baked pan dulcé (sweet bread) and pastries for guests to sample at no charge. Starbucks distributed free samples of hot and iced coffee as well as their refreshers. Round Table Pizza had boxes of pizzas there and offered free slices and lollipops. Taqueria San Jose brought a variety of Mexican food, Mr. Pickles had half turkey and ham sandwiches along with chocolate chunk cookies that they passed around. Golden Corral General Manager, Jen Weis and Hospitality Manager Dawn Amiot were serving up mini burgers, chips, mini cookies, and sweet tea.

“This is all free of charge to anyone that wants to stop by,” said Weis. “We hope it all goes and we don’t have to take anything back to the restaurant.”

If none of those food options fulfilled your tastebud needs, you could also purchase a chicken dinner from Cool Hand Luke’s that benefitted the Youth Court program at the Center for Human Services. The dinner included BBQ chicken, rice pilaf, green beans, and a dinner roll for $10.

“I am very blessed that I got so much support from different businesses throughout the community,” said Reyes. “I am blessed to be a part of a loving and caring community that unites to make things possible in such a short amount of time.”

The Cultural Center of Riverbank had a booth set up promoting their Music, Dance, Art, and Language classes that are now being offered.

The Riverbank High School band under the direction of Joseph Aguilar played throughout the event to entertain the guests. When the live music took a break, a DJ was there and kept spinning the tunes as well to make sure there was never a dull moment.

Al, the Modesto Nuts Almond mascot, was chased around by the kids and then ended up having a dance off against Mr. Pickles, which proved extremely entertaining for the crowd.

This family-focused event also had two bounce houses for the kids, one that was a castle and the other was a slide.

In Shape Health Clubs had a booth and were giving out discounted memberships and Community Trust Credit Union had a drawing. Spec Ops Live play had their laser tag weapons and a course set up for attendees that wanted an example of what they do.

The Award Presentation for the Youth Attorneys started at 6 p.m., with the RHS NJROTC presenting the colors and the Enochs High School Choir singing the National Anthem and leading the guests in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Director of the Cultural Center, Araceli Maile Delgado along with a few others performed a Hawaiian dance for the audience.

Law enforcement filled the parking lot with Riverbank Police Services deputies, Chief Erin Kiely, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson, City of Patterson Police Chief Tori Hughes, CHP, two K9 units and the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire department all in attendance the event.

There were several speakers at the ceremony and the keynote address was given to the Youth Attorneys by Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager followed by the awards presentation. The youth attorneys, after they complete their training, are able to act as ‘judges’ in a court of their peers, hearing cases against teens, who can have their minor offense cases taken to Youth Court.

Riverbank City Council member Darlene Barber-Martinez gave a speech and was in line with Modesto Vice Mayor, David Geer, Chief Kiely, and event organizer, Reyes to shake the hands of the Youth Court program graduates.

“We only have two major events a year that support our overall budget so when someone like Armando wants to do the work on our behalf we think it’s great,” said CHS Marketing and PR Director, Kate Trompetter. “We are very thankful for the community.”

The event ended with an exciting K-9 demonstration by Sam and his handler Sheriff Deputy Marcia Matos.

“I am very happy that everything turned out to be very successful and an evening of lots of fun,” said Reyes. “I will come back next year and continue my promise of dedicating my life to public service.”