Saugerties community youth awards announced

The mission of the Saugerties Community Youth Awards Committee is to recognize and reward the young citizens of the Saugerties area who are “caught” making good choices and doing good deeds. The goal is to reinforce positive behavior in youth and to instill community awareness of the positive contributions by these young citizens.

The Saugerties Youth Awards concept, developed by Saugerties is About Growth Experiences (SAGE), was adopted by the town and village governments, who sponsor the yearly awards along with Saugerties Central School District, Saugerties Boys & Girls Club and Family of Woodstock. Nominations come from these groups as well as community organizations, groups and individuals. The group is always seeking nominations from the community; info and nomination forms are at town and village offices and on their websites. The young people who received a Saugerties Community Youth Award this year were honored at the Town Board meeting held on March 20.

Jenna McDonald, 17, was nominated by Lindsey Quick of the Boys & Girls Club. Jenna has volunteered at the club for three years and helps out around the club every week. She also helps the younger members with their homework and helps the staff members with any task that needs doing. The other members look up to her and are excited to have her visit every week, says Quick. Jenna works hard, gets excellent grades and is a role model to the club members. She has also recruited some of her friends to help, as well, and the club is thankful to have her as part of their volunteer team.


Hope Antonelli, advisor to the Builder’s Club at Saugerties Junior High School, nominated several members of the club for recognition. Abbie Ausfeld, 13, has been a Builder’s Club member for two years. She is a “giver,” says Antonelli, volunteering for any and all activities, always ready to do what is needed. “Abbie is diligent and precise.”

Jade Menses, 13, has been a club member for two years. As a seventh grader last year, Jade was one of the most outgoing people she’s ever encountered, according to the club advisor. “Most seventh graders are so apprehensive; not Jade. She jumped right in, involving others and setting the example.” Jade is Antonelli’s social director this year.

Anthony Denier, 13, has been a Builder’s Club member for two years and has participated in every single event. “He has been a top fundraiser for two years. This year Anthony is the group’s vice-president, demonstrating authentic leadership qualities.”

Aiden Schoonmaker, 14, is a two-year member of Builder’s Club for two years and serving as president of the group this year. Antonelli says he likes to engage the group and get them motivated. “Builder’s Club requires a lot of hours, and Aiden gladly gives them.”