Canton’s Youth Making a Difference Through CYO
By Patrick LaBelle
Five Presidents, thirty committee heads, and over a hundred high school volunteers showed up to the St. Gerard's CYO kickoff meeting this past Sunday hoping to find something they can be passionate about for the upcoming year.
There are fifteen different committees that teenagers can get involved with ranging from Sojourner house (a once a month event that invites homeless/disadvantaged children into the church hall for a night of fun) to Ski Trip (organizing and planning a trip for CYO members to a mountain with skiing, ice skating, and chemistry building activities) with many other in between.
The CYO program has been run for over 25 years and has developed in every year since its pilot. Jan Mcguire and Mike Mahan are the adults who oversee the operations but a heavy amount of responsibility falls on the committee heads and presidents who apply for their positions.
This years Kickoff meeting had a variety of stations where “Minute to win-it” games were played. “I really enjoyed the meeting because it got everyone excited for the upcoming year and it was great to play some of the games with my friends” said CYO member Genna Floyd. Another CYO member Brian Ghostlaw added that his favorite game played on the night was “Moving an oreo from your forehead into your mouth without using your hands”
After about forty-five minutes of fun and games it was time to get down to the true purpose of the meeting; getting people excited to sign-up for any committees they are interested in. The teenagers walked around from table to table of various committees and signed up for their favorites.
By all accounts, the night was a big success for all involved in CYO. “It went very well’. Said Kids Camp committee head Tommy DeLello. “They always do a great job of making you go outside your comfort zone and make service work something people love and want to-do, it really is a great program”. As the teenagers settle back into school, the CYO program is ready to take off for yet another successful year.
“I've always had a passion for Kids Camp; it's a great week in the summer that happens due to preparations made throughout the year.” said Kids camp committee head Tommy DeLello. “The committee allows us to give the campers the same fantastic experience that we were provided when we were younger kids.
“I’ve always enjoyed the events CYO has run in the past and I wanted to play a role in creating some of those events” said Marissa Devane on what inspired her to apply to be a committee head for “special events”.