Lingenfelter is B&G Club winner for second time

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

Raymond Lingenfelter was named Boys and Girls Club of Sweet Home Youth of the Year last week.

It is his second time receiving the honor.

He will attend the state level of the competition on April 5 and April 6.

“He’s a great kid,” club Program Director Bridgette Horlacher said. “He puts in lots of hours here volunteering, playing games with kids.”

Lingenfelter is active in school, she said, playing on the varsity basketball and baseball teams and maintaining a GPA near 4.0.

“He’s a well-rounded kid,” Horlacher said. “He’s a good student and really thoughtful with the kids.”

Also nominated this year was Kaye Whitehead, a junior at Sweet Home High School. Whitehead works at the Boys and Girls Club about four and a half hours per day after school.

Both are part of the club services program, Horlacher said. Their volunteer work helps them to earn scholarship money.

Lingenfelter, a high school senior, is proud of the accomplishment, he said. “I think the Boys and Girls Club respects me, and I respect them. It means I did something right last time.”

The award may let the judges at the state youth of the year competition know he’s serious, he said.

Lingenfelter was one of two nominated for the state honor. Youths must meet certain qualifications to be nominated, including a minimum of a year as part of the club and being an active member.

Lingenfelter has rewritten his essays and speech from last year, he said. He is condensing the speech and will present it without note cards.

“It’s going to be more from the heart rather than a paper,” he said. He gave his speech to the local club that way too.

“I just put the notecards down and winged it,” he said. “They said they liked it better.”

It was shorter, more from the heart and more emotional, he said.

His speech will cover what the Boys and Girls Club means to him as well as talking about his plans for college, he said. He has been accepted at the University of Oregon where he plans to major in math with a minor in science. He plans to go into engineering or teaching afterward.

The club “has provided me with a lot of job experience,” he said, along with a number of community service opportunities, something that will be a benefit as he continues into college.

UO has been his goal since he was in the sixth grade, he said, and his experience with the Boys and Girls Club and the Key Club is helping him achieve it, including scholarships.

“I just didn’t know I would get help this way,” Lingenfelter said.

It also helped him personally, he said. Since moving to Sweet Home in the seventh grade, he has lived in five different places.

“I had difficulties being stationary by the people I knew,” he said. He would make friends where he lived and then move. It is difficult to maintain friends that way, he said.

At the Boys and Girls Club, it didn’t matter, he said, because they would always be there after school every day.