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Central Region East Regional News

CRE Tournies A Success!

Teens, Community and Shelters All Winners!

When people think about CRE BBYO's Tournies Convention, competition is the first thing that usually comes to mind. While the weekend does include the teens competing against one another in many different events, that is only the surface of what we accomplished as a Region.

On November 19-21 in Allentown, PA., 245 Jewish Teens came together to accomplish many objectives. With Ruach engulfing the atmosphere the weekend began with a Shabbat dinner and services followed by a rousing Song, Banner and Cheer presentation. With the weekend's theme of Fairy Tales in place, the chapters utilized this theme, with a Jewish schtick, to perform for their peers, judges and community members. The creativity was unbelievable and the energy unmatched.

Upon their return Saturday morning the teens led yet another wonderful Shabbat Service before the bulk of the events took place. Events that took place throughout the weekend included oratory, panel discussion, storytelling,singing, instrumental and poetry. For our game players we included ping-pong, chess, checkers, backgammon and foosball. Our athletes took center stage with basketball, volleyball and water polo. Finally we had handi-crafts, video, and photography amongst many other events. They were then judged by Allentown community volunteers who lent their expertise to ensure that the teens efforts did not go unnoticed.

I had the opportunity to talk with many of our judges and they all came away extremely impressed with the amount of time and energy that our teens put into their preparation. Our BBG panel discussion judges particularly approached me to praise the intellectual insight that our girls provided.

On Saturday evening, we invited the community to yet another amazing CRE BBYO Havdallah Service. With 75 plus community members in attendance, including parents, local clergy and Jewish communal leaders, the BBYO teens were able to show our guests that the Jewish Community in is good hands as our teen leaders grow into tomorrow's adult leadership.

On Sunday morning, CRE had a special celebrity guest. Darryl Dawkins, former Philadelphia 76er star and current NBA ambassador, joined us as a referee and spent a couple of hours signing autographs, taking pictures, and just hanging out and chatting with the teens. Darryl is a friend of some of the local BBYO members and staff, as well as a supporter of BBYO and its mission.

The weekend culminated in our Awards Ceremony on Sunday morning. Along with the medals that we hand out for individual accomplishments, we have three divisions, separated according to chapter size. The winners were as follows:

Small Chapter - York BBYO

Mid-Size Chapter - Wilkes Barre BBYO (first time moving up to this division!)

Larges Chapter - Allentown BBYO

The final award presentation is always my personal favorite...THE SPIRIT STICK! This is always a difficult award to choose as all of our teens show an amazing amount of spirit and sportsmanship. That being said we still have to acknowledge the chapters that best exemplifies what spirit really stands for and this years winners are York BBYO, Kol Hadror BBYO (our newly expanded Main Line chapter) and West Chester BBYO, which made huge strides this year by elevating themselves to our large chapter division for the first time in their history!

With all of the awards that were received this weekend, the big winners were the charitable foundations that our BBYO teens were able to assist. They donated boxes and boxes of warm clothing to the Mosser Family Center and food to the Sixth Street Shelter. They also raised money for the local Jewish Family Services through a Pie in the Face contest. A raffle was held to see who got to deliver the shaving cream pies. The recipients of the pies in the face were Regional Presidents Emily Hunker and Josh Greenberg, and Regional Director Jeff Koch and his son Brayden.

As I end this article it is important to recognize the adults that made this weekend not only possible but such a success. Our volunteer advisers worked diligently to prepare the teens while also facilitating our events throughout the weekend. Please give your local adviser a special thank you when you see them. The other group of people with which we could not have done this is the Allentown parents and community members. They did everything from hosting teens at their homes, judging, serving and preparing food, schlepping and showing on-going support for our BBYOers. A huge thank you to all of you from CRE BBYO!

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