BENSON — The Benson Bobcat Alumni Association and Benson Unified School District family and community inducted four new Honorary member.
Dr. David Woodall, former BUSD Superintendent of Schools, Tom and Nancy Adams of G&F Pizza, and Tony Garrobo, a longtime BUSD employee, received Honorary induction Thursday at the Third Annual Benson Bobcat Alumni Association Dinner in the McGlumphy-Wilson Gymnasium before a packed house.
Honorees were honored for their steadfast support of BUSD.
Each inductee shared a few words.
Garrobo, a school bus driver and custodian of 26 years and an ardent supporter of the Benson Bobcats’ athletic programs, was overcome with emotion by his induction. But he was able to offer a few remarks.
“I went to each of the sports events to watch the kids,” he said, while offering sound advice for students: “Stay in school, stay out of trouble and stay away from drugs.”
Tom and Nancy Adams took over G&F Pizza from the former late and beloved proprietor and longtime community member Vince Gangi. The Adams family, Tom and Nancy, and their son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Megan Adams, at G&F continue to throw their support behind BUSD.
Nancy spoke of her Los Angeles big city roots and recalled her thoughts at the time when brought to this tiny town by her husband Tom. Now, she can think of no better place to be. “I wouldn’t trade this for any place,” she said. “We are truly blessed.”
“It’s a great honor I will never forget,” added Tom, while acknowledging all in attendance as “Honorary Bobcats.” He said the “true Honorary Bobcats” are the instructors and school administrators who are there for one reason — “our kids. We have to do everything that we can for these kids… they’re our future.”
Dr. Woodall, whose eight-year tenure at BUSD went from 2006 to 2014, led BUSD to its No. 1 school ranking in Arizona in 2013.
“Benson is a special place… the people and community are all very special,” said Woodall.
The Farmington, N.M. native, and current Supt. of Schools at Morenci School District, said coming to Benson felt a lot “like going home.” “I was blessed to have worked here eight years in a great community… thank you all very much for this honor,” he said.
The Alumni Association and annual dinner was the longtime vision of the late Chic Maldonado and whose “Once a Bobcat, Always a Bobcat,” mantra is also the association’s motto.
Inductees are selected for outstanding service and contributions made to the Benson Unified School District family.
The association continues to call on the public for donations of old sports photographs and stories of players and coaches for an athletics “timeline” display for the James Driggers Gymnasium. Anyone who can help is asked to contact any BBAA board member. Along with that items depicting the school or community’s past are being sought for a “Wall of History” in the school district Board Room at 360, S. Patagonia St.
The steak dinner, complete with all the trimmings, was a combined effort on behalf of the BHS Culinary Arts students and the BHS Future Farmers of America Chapter, BBAA President Judy Thompson offered the welcoming address. The BHS Law and Public Safety Class, led by instructor Mark Marine, presented colors and the BHS Band, led by Brian Turner, performed the national anthem. Advisor Amanda Zamudio, FFA, and Culinary Class, Amanda Goss-Christensen, were there with their students.
The live auction raised $1,500. Total figures for the evening’s fundraiser are pending.