Each year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas host their annual Boys Nite Out celebration. I started participating in this event last year and couldn’t wait for it to come around again in 2011. Well, last Wednesday, Oct. 26 was the big day as more than 150 boys were paired with men from throughout the Las Vegas community for a night of entertainment, sports and great memories.

My partner in crime for Boys Nite Out 2011 was Andrew, an 8-year-old who spends his time at the Lied Clubhouse when participating in Boys & Girls Club activities. While slightly shy at first, Andrew came out of his shell as soon as we started playing the various games set up throughout the gym. His favorite game was the soccer challenge where

First prize in the “Wiffle Ball Shot Put”

he even showed me a few tips on properly kicking the ball. It’s always humbling to get your butt kicked by an 8-year-old! In fact, he beat me in quite a few of the events, and together we brought home first prize in the “Wiffle Ball Shot Put.”

A lot of us often read and hear how Las Vegas has no sense of community pride and spirit, but with events such as Boys Nite Out, anyone can see that those detractors are so wrong. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas host an amazing event every year (they also host Girls Nite Out every spring) for hundreds of boys who are in need of positive influences in their lives.

At the end of the night, Andrew left with a new friend, a few goodies and a smile, and that smile is what makes Boys Nite Out such a great event.

Andrew & Matt at Boys Nite Out 2011

P.S. A quick shout out to my fellow Kirvin Doaker, Brad Seidel, who was on the planning committee for Boys Nite Out 2011. Another awesome example of how leaders in the community are stepping up for a great cause.