(Riverton, WY) Local dignitaries and organization leaders, patrons, volunteers, youth and individuals in the community came out to honor and recognize the Honorable Wes Roberts for his service at the 3rd Annual Boys & Girls Club Riverton Awards and Recognition Breakfast held on Wednesday morning at the Fremont County Fairgrounds.
Boys & Girls Club members Skylar Campbell and Ariadne Ennis opened the event by talking about the things they love about the Boys & Girls Club.
Pastor Ian McFarland of Cornerstone Community Church delivered the Invocation: “…I can personally think of no one more deserving of this honor than my dear Brother Wes. The calling of a judge is serious, indeed; the decisions he makes affect real human beings, real families and all of society…it is a delight to acknowledge Judge Roberts who stands out as exceptional in the areas of wisdom, fairness, professionalism, basic moral goodness, and optimism…and I chose that last word carefully, because at the age of 40 years old now I’ve found myself struggling with what feels like a growing cynicism toward the world, or what some call the ‘slow death of youthful optimism’. But I’ve never detected even a hint of this in Judge Roberts. He remains, through and through, positive and hopeful about life, people, and society.”
FCSD #25 Superintendent Jodi Ibach: “I can’t tell you how excited we are about the momentum we are gaining in this community to provide more positive and enriching experiences for our kids.Boys and Girls Club is one of the groups leading this charge…their mission states that the aim to inspire all youth, but they do much more than that. An example is today. They’re inspiring us.”
Mayor Tim Hancock fully read and signed a Proclamation stating Wednesday, April 26, 2023 as Boys & Girls Club Appreciation and Awareness Day, “and urge the citizens of our community to join with me in expressing our support for the Boys and Girls Club of Riverton as it helps children realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.”
Riverton Boys & Girls Club Director Jacque Stoldt described the youth levels of the program and said: “They grow into amazing young men and women who are proud to say they’re from Riverton. Many of them get involved in the community as adults, becoming business owners, city leaders, and mentors to the next generation. Imagine what a difference these kids will make for Riverton, Wyoming, and our nation…I think I can speak for everyone in this room when I say that I want to inspire and enable every child, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.”
Each year, the Boys & Girls Club awards a $2000 Education Award to “an oustanding youth who shares his or her laws of life and how they’ve influenced his or her life.” Mary Margaret Stockton presented this year’s award to Nathan Hutchison for his essay which included his words: “Treating others the way I want to be treated: Integrity, Honesty and Hard Work.” Stockton described Hutchison as “…a kind, compassionate, intelligent young man with very bright future.”
Boys & Girls Club of Central Wyoming’s 2022 Youth of the Year recipient Isabel Norris said: “I am looking towards my future, but I’m so grateful for my past…I wouldn’t be who I am today without it. I’ve faced many challenges in my 16 years…whenever I need support, I turn to the Club, whether it’s a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear, caring club mentors are there to help me in any way they can.”
Kip Post, President of Central Bank & Trust and Board President of the Help for Help Hospice, has been involved in the opening of the Boys & Girls Club from the beginning. “We are definitely fulling an important need in our community…when kids are left alone after school–when they are hungry or disengaged–their ability to thrive diminishes. We see this through statistics that show juvenile crime peaks between 3 and 7 p.m. But the Club is there, providing a safe place space after school with caring mentors.”
Mike Axthelm and his wife, Mary Axthelm, presented the Distinguished Service award to the Honorable Wes Roberts. Referencing an Old Testament Bible verse in Micah 6:8, Axthelm said: “Whenever Wes had a very difficult decision or a very tough case to make, often he would ask us to pray for him. He would ask us that we would pray that he would get wisdom to make the right decision. Do you know how different this nation would look if all judges prayed over the decisions that they made?…There were people that’d come in front of Wes’ court that have done very bad things and terrible offenses, and there’s time when they deserve a very harsh punishment or sentencing. But Wes sees something else in them. He sees somebody that needs a second chance. He sees somebody that, instead of sentencing, deserves mercy. They need somebody to give them a message that there is hope. He sees somebody that needs somebody in their corner, telling them they have faith in them to make a change. Wes saw things in people that nobody else did. We’re to ‘do justice, we’re to love mercy, we’re to walk humbly with our God’. Thank you, Wes.”
“Micah 6:8 is awesome,” said Judge Roberts. “It’s my marching orders. It has suited me well as a judge, and suits me well as a man…I’ve reaped the impressive reward of seeing people grow and prosper in their personal lives, seeing people do what I believe we should all do, which is…things turn out best when we make the best of how the way things turn out. I’ve seen people do their best out of the most difficult circumstances. That’s one of the things about the Boys & Girls Club; their mission about mentoring to youth, instilling the values of personal ethics and integrity have been at the heart of my life.”
The Keynote Speaker was former NFL All-Pro Josh Norman, who participated in an interview-style conversation with Riverton High School Senior Class President Jackson Hill.
Also present at the awards breakfast were Boys & Girls Club Regional Development Officer Tony Orr, Boys & Girls Club of Central Wyoming Brian Stack, House Representative Pepper Ottman, Central Wyoming College President Brad Tyndall, Riverton Chief of Police Eric Hurtado, members from the office of Senator John Barasso, Fremont County Commissioners, Riverton City Council members, and Boys & Girls Club Advisory Council members.