Junior Achievement Challenge
For the past eight years, Juniors have gathered in Oklahoma City the first weekend in August for the annual Junior Achievement Challenge. The first year there were 23 Juniors and this year there were 88 Juniors from eight different states. This event is Co-sponsored by Onofrio Dog Shows and the Oklahoma City Kennel Club.
The Juniors participate in two days of seminars and hands-on training in the mornings. Then lunch is served and the Juniors have Junior Competition in the afternoon.
This years seminars included:
The Hands On training was presented by:
While the Juniors are kept busy with their seminars and competition, the parents and others are kept busy with the Oklahoma City Kennel Club hosting two days of B/OB Matches and Rally Matches with the proceeds going to finance the weekend for the Juniors, as the weekend, including lunches, is free for the Juniors.
During the weekend, leading up to the final Judging it is not all work and concentration, the Juniors do indulge in some fun. One of the highlights is the annual raffle which takes place on Sunday after lunch. For each seminar or hands on the Juniors attends, they receive a ticket for the raffle. There are dozens of prizes from huge stuffed animals, baskets of goodies, gift certificates, and this year a piece of 14K gold jewelry donated by Originals by Omar.
After a little relaxing, 28 Juniors, the 1st and 2nd place from each of the 7 classes from each day enter the ring for the final judging for the Best Junior Handler for the weekend. This is done with three Judges on a point system and the Junior with the most points wins. Each Junior is worked individually and then each Judge has the right to re-work any Junior they want. The three final Judges this year were Mr. Tim James, President of Onofrio Dog Shows; Mr. Jon Rawleigh, with Onofrio Dog Shows: and Mr. Vito Ciaranino, Professional Handler.
Third Runner Up was Ms. Nicole Thomas, Blanchard, OK, showing a Toy Poodle. She received a $500.00 Scholarship.
Second Runner Up was Ms. Anna Diaz, California, showing a Collie. She received a $750.00 Scholarship.
First Runner Up was Ms. M'Kayla Stahr, Nebraska, showing a Dachshund. She received a $1000.00 Scholarship.
Best Junior Handler was Ms. Lauren McIlwraith, Edmond, OK , showing a Siberian Husky. She received a trip for two and a dog to the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Show in 2006, and a $1000.00 Scholarship.
The Judges reported that this was the roughest Judging they have ever had to do and that these Juniors were great and the improvement in the ones that have been coming year after year was very satisfying to see.
It was a very exciting weekend for the Juniors, their families, and all the volunteers that worked so hard to make this a great weekend.
We would like to thank all the Juniors for attending, all of our sponsors, Judges, and volunteers for helping Onofrio Dog Shows and the Oklahoma City Kennel Club make this a successful weekend. Also, a special Thanks to Mari-Beth O'Neill of the AKC for all her encouragement.
Plans are already underway for next years event, it will be August 5th and 6th, 2006 in Oklahoma City at the Fairgrounds.
Any Club or Organization wishing more information about the Junior Achievement Challenge, please feel free to contact either Mr. Tim James, Onofrio Dog Shows or the Match Secretary, Mrs. Georgia Harris, Oklahoma City Kennel Club.