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Mason named Boy of the Year

Of the 14 nominees who gathered at the St. James Thursday, Stennis Walker Mason was named the 2011 Paul M. Grist Boy of the Year. Mason, a senior at Morgan Academy,, said he plans to become an accountant. -- Desiree Taylor

Surrounded by family and friends, 14 distinguished young men were honored for their achievements at the 62nd annual “Paul M. Grist Boy of the Year” awards banquet Thursday evening at the St. James Hotel.

The candidates, representing Morgan Academy, Dallas County High, Selma High, Southside High, Keith High, Ellwood Academy and Meadowview Christian School, exemplified excellence in academics and service to others. Stennis Walker Mason, Morgan Academy senior and class salutatorian, won the prestigious title of the 2011”Boy of the Year.” Upon graduation, Mason plans to attend the University of Mobile and major in accounting.

“With all of the distinguished young men on this panel, I feel very honored to have the privilege to carry this award,” Mason said.

“I’m so blessed and I give God all of the glory.”

Selma Mayor George Evans said he was glad to see the young men carry such strong Christian moral values and service.

“I’m proud and happy for all of the young men,” Evans said. “All of them are winners in my book.”

Ronnie Baynes, the guest speaker, is a Talladega native and Auburn University graduate. He was also a scrimmage line judge for the National Football League. He spoke of the importance of rules.

“We are all governed by rules in life and the three rules I hope you all will live by is: to always do what’s right, do the best you can do and treat others the way you want to be treated,” Baynes said.

The award is named in honor of former Selma-Dallas County YMCA director Paul M. Grist, who spent more than 40 years nurturing and inspiring young men to be “great boys” through service to others.