B'ville Optimists honor October student of the month

The Baldwinsville Optimist Club honored Kristen Baldino as their October Student-of-the Month at the club's October meeting at the Canal Caf (c). Her parents, Mario and Laurie Baldino, applauded when Optimist President Jim Johnson presented Baldino with a government savings bond.

The guidance counselors select which students will be honored by the various service organizations.

"All of these students have exceptional academic records and are members of the high honor roll and the national honor society," said Optimist member Patricia Dickman. "But, when the person visits our club, we use the meeting as an opportunity to learn more about the student's interests, what activities excite them and how they can become involved in their community."

Baldino was a part of the Durgee Leadership Team and the Baker Transition Team. She is especially proud to be involved with Jenna's Mentor's. Baldino visits the middle school and meets with sixth and seventh graders and she emphasizes the importance of being aware of the people near you and what they are doing.

As an active member of Key Club, Baldino participates in a variety of volunteer events in and around Baldwinsville. For both the Oktoberfest and the Baldwinsville Tree Lighting Ceremony, Baldino helped organize and oversee the "activities for children." On Valentine's Day, Baldino and some friends visited Syracuse Home Association and made Valentine's Day cards, which they gave to the residents.

Baldino and her mother, Laurie, combine their talents and make "doll cradle" gifts, which they donate to the Christmas Bureau. Her mother makes the wooden doll cradle, then Baldino makes doll-sized blankets, pillows and fabric books, which are placed in the cradles.

The University of Rochester is one of the schools Baldino is hoping to attend next year, and she received the George Eastman Young Leaders Award. She has played softball for "my whole life" and has been on the Baldwinsville Varsity Softball Team throughout high school. When asked, "What is your favorite softball position to play," Baldino said, "The outfield. The outfield, especially at the varsity level, is an exciting place to be."

Congratulations Kristen Baldino.

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