Mr. and Mrs. Chouinard honored as recipients of 2024 Boys & Girls Club Distinguished Service Award

    (Riverton, WY) – Leaders and members of civic and community organizations, patrons, and supporters came out for the annual Boys & Girls Club Awards & Recognition Breakfast held Tuesday morning in the Fremont Center at the Fremont County Fairgrounds. The preliminary dollars raised were $110,671.

    Recipients of the 2024 Distinguished Service Award were Lorenzo (Larry) Chouinard and his wife, Mary Jo. Their careers in Riverton began in 1979; Mary Jo held many positions within the Fremont County School District, including librarian, English teacher, teacher assistant, and principal, with her final role as the principal at St. Margaret’s Elementary School. In 2009, Mary Jo received the National Distinguished Principal Award for Wyoming.

    Larry taught history for many years and received numerous awards for his work. In addition to teaching, he coached football, basketball, track, and baseball at the middle and high school levels.


    Throughout their lifetime, the Chouinards were pillars of the Riverton community. They were always there for their students to make sure they had what they needed to be successful. They hosted several international students, and still hear from many of their former students to this day.

    According to the Chouinards, “Riverton welcomes us with open arms and provided the opportunity to fulfill all of our career goals. It was the perfect place to raise our daughter We cherish the memories and friendships from the 37 years we were blessed to call Riverton home.”

    Susan Goetzinger: “Coach and Mary Jo, thank you for all you have done for me and for the many students of Riverton. Thousands of us have benefited from your life’s work. You have inspired and helped us to become better people. You have delivered fond memories for several generations. I am grateful to you, as I think we all are.”

    Boys & Girls Club: It Takes A Village

    Tuesday’s program began with the invocation given by Owen Lampert, followed by a color guard and a children’s choir, led by Jennifer Kessler, singing the national anthem. The choir is comprised of 4th and 5th-grade students who meet after school on Thursdays.


    Mayor Tim Hancock read and signed a Proclamation declaring Tuesday, April 30, 2024, as Boys & Girls Club Appreciation and Awareness Day. Riverton Police Chief Eric Hurtado also spoke about his family’s move to Riverton, and how their children have adjusted to the move from a small village in Alaska.

    Fremont County School District #25 Superintendent Jodi Ibach: “The Riverton Boys & Girls Club provides an invaluable service. The club’s focus on academic success, good character, citizenship, and healthy lifestyles directly benefits our community, our students, and their families. A community can never have too many programs to enrich the lives of our children, and the programs can’t exist without the dedication of the adults who commit and show day in and day out. It’s these people who make a difference in the lives of our most precious resource and it is because of your generous support that they have the opportunity to do so…Mr. and Mrs. Chouinard (it will always be “Mr. and Mrs. Chouinard”), thank you for your work. You made a difference and have been a role model to many.”

    FCSD #25 Superintendent Jodi Ibach. (h/t Carol Harper)

    Riverton Boys & Girls Club Director Jacque Stoldt: “I heard somewhere that it takes a village to raise a child…standing here, looking at all of you today, I see our village. Each of you sitting here today is doing your part to raise the kids in our community. My staff and I can’t do our jobs without the work that you all do to support us.”

    Riverton Boys & Girls Club Director Jacque Stoldt. (h/t Carol Harper)

    Past honorees Mary Margaret Stockton (2021), Rick and Josephine Gilpatrick (2022), and The Honorable Wes Roberts (2023) were also present at the awards breakfast. Stockton presented the 2024 Boys & Girls Club Foundation Education Awards to winner Sydnee Jevne and runner-up Katie Shields. These awards are given each year to “outstanding youth who shared their laws of life and how those laws have had an influence in their lives.”

    Isabelle Norris is a junior at the Dubois K-12 School and was named the Boys & Girls Club of Central Wyoming’s Youth of the Year and State of Wyoming Youth of the Year first-place winner. She will compete for the Southwest Region Youth of the Year in June. “My passion is working with animals and I plan to become a veterinarian. Through the courage I’ve gained by being a club member, the hard work, and my personal experiences, I know i can achieve each and every one of my goals.”

    Kip Post, Boys & Girls Club of Central Wyoming: “The Club in Riverton has 275 active members to date and serves youth of all ages every day after school from when the bell rings until 6:00 p.m. at night…when schools out, the club’s in. When kids are left alone after school, when they are hungry or disengaged, their ability to thrive in school diminishes, and juvenile crime peaks between 3:00-7:00 p.m. We are so blessed to have a positive place where our children can go after school…a place where there are caring mentors, engaging activities, and of course, free snacks and meals. Thriving children build thriving communities.


    Wyoming Superintend of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder inducted Curt Galitz into the 2024 Boys & Girls Club of Central Wyoming Alumni Hall of Fame. Galitz attended the Boys & Girls Club in Shoshoni from 1991 to 1995. “The Boys & Girls Club taught him how to hold himself accountable by setting daily reading goals and homework completion goals…he is honored to give back to the organization that gave him so much when he was a kid.” Galitz is a board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Riverton and a financial advisor with Edward Jones.

    Keynote Speaker Kevin Hines shared a video clip and the story of his survival when he attempted to take his own life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Hines is one of only 36 people who have survived the jump. He said that if only one person had asked him if he was okay, then he would not have attempted to take his life. Since then, Hines has dedicated his life to spreading awareness of mental health and making an impact on others.

    A screening of his documentary, “Suicide: The Ripple Effect” was shown at the ACME Theater on April 26. More about Kevin Hines can be found on his website.

    Keynote Speaker Kevin Hines held a Q&A session after the Boys & Girls Club Awards Breakfast on Tuesday. (h/t Carol Harper)

    For more information about the Boys and Girls Club of Riverton, visit their Facebook page or their web page at


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