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A town's class acts

Optimists, VFW salute student athletes and citizens of the year

VFW award recipients stand proudly Saturday night during a banquet dinner in their honor. Left to right, state Rep. Geraldo Alicea, D-Charlton, Helen Santilli, Christopher Brooks, Marry E. Wells Middle School teacher Ellie Peoples, and her two students, Stephanie St. George and Elizabeth Lamica. Right to left, Southbridge Fire Lt. John LaRochelle and Charlton Street School teacher Laurie Dunleavy, who plans to retire this year. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
May 16, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — For his dedication and effort, Jordan Forget was just one of many local students the Southbridge Optimist Club honored Friday night.

Forget, a 16-year-old Southbridge High School senior, and 38 other students received accolades during the club's 25th annual Unsung Hero Banquet.

"I'm honored. I did not expect it," Forget said.

The awards are meant to honor students who are not necessarily the "superhero" of their activities, but who show dedication to it, according to Optimist Club member Lefty Varin, who co-chaired the event with his wife.

Those were not the only accolades distributed this weekend. The Southbridge Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 6055 Saturday night held its community awards ceremony at its Everett Street post to honor local residents who have made positive contributions to their town.

The Optimist Club honored 39 local students from both Southbridge High School and Trinity Catholic Academy for participation in several sports, including soccer, hockey, golf, football, cross country cheerleading, indoor track, softball, baseball, tennis and basketball.

Forget, who received an award for playing as a shooting guard on his school's boys freshman basketball team, said knowing he received the recognition will make him more motivated. Forget said he has learned self-respect, discipline and determination through his time on court.

See Tuesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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