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Volunteers honored

Minnesota's Hugh O'Brian Youth (HOBY) leadership program recognized more than 30 leaders for outstanding spirit and service Saturday at the first annual HOBY Cheers Dinner sponsored by Great Clips.

Two of those honored included Detroit Lakes High School's Jonathan Melgaard and Ashley Morben.

The event took place at Concordia University in St. Paul. Belinda Jensen of KARE 11 News served as the master of ceremonies.

HOBY also recognized 26 high school students who have completed more than 100 hours of community service since attending Minnesota's HOBY leadership seminar at the end of their sophomore years.

Three major awards were handed out Saturday night.

Kaylee Snyder, a senior at Burnsville High School, received the HOBY Outstanding Youth Leadership Award. Kaylee leads a student-run volunteer group at her school, reads to a visually impaired man every week, helps out at nursing homes and more.

Karen Atkinson, coordinator of the Children First Initiative in St. Louis Park, received the HOBY Outstanding Community Leadership Award. Karen oversees a network of more than 140 "asset champions" who help build positive traits in young people throughout her community.

Joy DesMarais-Lanz, who attended Minnesota's HOBY seminar in 1992 and never stopped her commitment to service, received the HOBY Outstanding Alumnus Award. Through service-learning programs, Joy gets young people excited about community service.

Since 1958, more than 345,000 students nationwide have taken part in HOBY by attending leadership seminars in their home states. Minnesota's 2010 seminar will take place June 25-27 at Concordia University in St. Paul.

For more information on Hugh O'Brian Youth leadership programs, visit and