One look at the list of this area’s high school leaders assures you the future is in good hands.
That was clearly evident at the 21st annual Kiwanis-Herald Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet at the Sheraton Bucks County Hotel in Langhorne May 22.
Some of Bucks County’s best and brightest high school seniors were on hand to be honored for their outstanding achievements.
A total of 34 of the finest boys and girls scholar-athletes from the classroom and the playing field were recognized by the Levittown-Bristol Kiwanis Club and the Bucks County Herald.
On hand to headline this night of recognition was former Philadelphia Flyer great Brian Propp, who served as guest speaker and helped hand out awards plaques.
Each honoree also received a check from the Dick Dougherty Scholarship Fund, which since 1999 has donated more than $400,000 in financial assistance to college-bound high school seniors from Bucks County.
The Dougherty Fund is subsidized by the Kiwanis-Herald Sesame Place Classic 5K, which was held for the 21st straight year this past Sunday at Sesame Place in Langhorne.
Approximately 800 runners took part in either the featured 5K, the one-mile run or the kids’ sprint.
Officials of the Levittown-Bristol Kiwanis Club were pleased by both the turnout for the Classic at Sesame Place and the dinner at the Sheraton, where an audience of some 160 – including honorees, family members and guests – were in attendance.
Past Kiwanis Club President Dixie Rhodes was impressed with the honorees and the guest speaker.
“The banquet makes all the hours spent on race preparation all worthwhile,” she said. “The members of Kiwanis are proud of their efforts to honor worthy young adults who were outstanding in their studies and their sports.
“It isn’t often that teenagers make the newspaper for their positive contributions to their community and their school.’’
Banquet committee member Ernie Nocito looks forward to the event each year to hear the list of accomplishments.
“It never ceases to amaze me hearing aloud what each of these fine individuals has accomplished at such a young age,’’ he said.
“We are all very proud of each and every one of these college-bound students who received the Kiwanis-Herald Scholar-Athlete Award. Their achievements and growth at this early stage provides hope that they will become the emerging leaders of tomorrow.’’
Kiwanis President Mary Berman is among those who are inspired by these future leaders.
“The banquet was a celebration of the achievements of some of our finest high school students and their commitment to academics, athletics and service to the community,” she said. “It is great to be able to honor these remarkable students and their families.’’
As for the Classic, Berman was encouraged by an uptick in attendance this year, with about 150 more runners taking part than in 2018.
“What a great day,” she said. “I witnessed both the old and the young walking around smiling with their black Sesame shirts and finisher medals around their necks.
“Many wanted to capture this pride by stopping and posing with their favorite Sesame characters that were on hand at the park. The enthusiasm and excitement just electrified the air.’’
Added Nocito: “It was great so see so many happy faces, young and old, coming out to participate in this fun event. There was a big turnout of runners from near and far enjoying the races and festivities, knowing they are supporting a great cause, the Dick Dougherty Scholarship Fund.”
Rhodes liked what she saw, too.
“A good time was had by all,’’ she said. “The kids were enthralled by the Sesame characters, including our featured one, Cookie Monster. Then there was the (Langhorne-Middletown) firetruck which brought glee to many.
“What a wonderful day. Great to see runners from age six to 92 joining together in friendly competition and camaraderie.”