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Auberle honors achievers at 27th annual All-Star Banquet

| Thursday, April 18, 2013, 4:21 a.m.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Artasia J., Salim S. and Christopher H. stroll down the yellow brick road at Auberle's 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' All-Star Banquet on Wednesday evening.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Troy Harris tells attendees at Auberle's 27th annual All-Star Banquet about guiding teens through courses dealing with hazardous waste operations and emergency response, sponsored by Weavertown Environmental Group.

Auberle recognized the stellar achievements of its youth, families and community partners with its 27th annual All-Star Banquet.

With a “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” theme, Wednesday's dinner and awards ceremony at Stratigos Banquet Centre in North Huntingdon Township encouraged Auberle program participants to dream big and reach for the sky.

“This event is a real highlight of my year,” banquet chair Kathleen Miclot said. “Tonight we celebrate the outstanding achievements of our youth and families — showing that with a little help and hard work, dreams really do come true.”

Auberle CEO John Lydon agreed that the All-Star Banquet is a favorite event for many, including himself.

“When you see the celebration of success, it symbolizes what Auberle is able to do and what talents our children and families have when they are able to show it,” Lydon said.

Auberle is a faith-based agency dedicated to providing positive outcomes for youth and families through residential care, foster care, emergency shelter, in-home intervention, educational programs and community-based programs.

During this year's All-Star Banquet, Auberle welcomed nearly 300 guests to celebrate awards for more than 50 youth:

• Graduating Senior Award — Tionna B., Amado F., Cody W., Keith M., Salim S., Franklin K., Brandon W., Kevin B., David S., Joshua T. and Emmanuel W.

• Boys Education Award — Tyrese S., Zackary C., Michael C., Jermond M., Clarence P., James P., Christopher H., Salim S., Derique J. and Marvin R.

• Girls Education Award — Artasia J., Tionna B., Linquita S., Liebrynn R. and Danyelle P.

• Vocational Award — Emmanuel W.

• Life Skills Attendance Award — Emmanuel W.

• Essay Contest — Darrell K.

• Arts Award — Liebrynn R.

• SNAP Most Improved Behavior Award — Curtis R.

• Foster Care Most Resilient Child Award — Mya B.

• Foster Care Most Resilient Teen Award — Ashley M.

• Foster Care Parent of the Year — Quincy Jenkins

• Best New Foster Family — Darris and Amanda Barney

• Foster Parent of the Year Dedicated to Service Award — Sherry Rucker

• Excellent Family Award — Myanne Redman

• Albert Einstein Award — Mitchell J., Darla D. and Lauren B.

• Eager Participator Award — Jakarr J., Aailyah R., Heaven H. and Kelsey H.

• GATE Bloom Citizenship Award — Sara L.

• Shelter Awards — Zion J., Tavon M., Erik P., Layla R., Dejuan S., Majesty Y. and Imani T.

• Movin' On Life Achievement Award — Cesar M.

• GOAL Citizenship Award — Ricki W.

• Program B Citizenship Award — Julian H.

• Program C Citizenship Award — Walter H.

• Ladies Athletic Leadership Award — Lawanda P.

• Senior Athletic Leadership Award — Antoine G.

• Junior Athletic Leadership Award — Tyrese S.

In addition to its children and families, Auberle recognized an individual and corporation with its Partner Award, sponsored by Mylan.

The agency recognized Weavertown Environmental Group, led by CEO Dawn Fuchs, for its dedication and enthusiasm in operating a hazardous waste operations and emergency response course at Auberle. The course, which has provided Auberle teens with a unique certification in environmental cleanup for three consecutive years, has been taught by Troy Harris.

“Western Pennsylvania is at the center of this type of work,” Lydon said. “Companies in this field are seeking people who have that certification.”

Harris said teaching Auberle teens has been a rewarding experience.

“It's something that, once I did it, I wanted to stay on board and continue,” Harris said.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956, or