Rockwall County Commissioners Court recognizes 2020 Boys/Girls State Delegates

Rockwall County Commissioners Court recognizes 2020 Boys/Girls State Delegates
The 2020 Boys/Girls State delegates were recognized at the Commissioners Court meeting on Aug. 11. Courtesy photo.

ROCKWALL, TX – August 13, 2020 — In its regular meeting on Aug. 11, the Commissioners Court recognized the 2020 American Legion Boys/Girls State delegates. The Boys/Girls State program went virtual for the first time in its history due to COVID-19, with 12 young ladies and eight young men from Rockwall County high schools participating this summer.

Congrats to the following 2020 Boys/Girls State delegates:

Rockwall High School

Boys State:

Oscar Chavira
Chase Crayne
Nathan Hunter
Bradley Mitchell
Braden Wills
Liam Zalka

Girls State:

Stella Beaty
Catherine “Katie” Davidson
Marybeth Hamilton
Paige Henry
Miranda Jasso
Sydney Jorif

Rockwall-Heath High School

Boys State:

Jake Dalfrey

Girls State:

Hannah Jacobbe
Dirichi James-Osondu
Tabetha “Tabby” Kwasnica
Hailey Murray
Saron Regassa
Mia-Isabelle Spear

Home School

Joshua Richardson

Although the experience was a little different with the program going virtual, Rockwall-Heath High School student Saron Regassa told the court the delegates were still able to enjoy connecting with other students across the state.

“I was able to connect with girls from across the state and talk to them about important things like recent legislation, state senators and state representatives,” Regassa said. “I found that those were really insightful and engaging conversations that I had every day with these young women. I am really grateful that we have this program at our school and in our county.”

Each year through fundraisers and donations, the American Legion Terry Fisher Post 117 of Rockwall funds delegates to attend the Boys/Girls State camps. Through the program, the student participants learned all about every single facet of government, including how to write bills, vote and hold elections within the county, city and state levels.

The Commissioners Court recognized former Rockwall County Health Authority Dr. Gary Bonacquisti for his years of service to the county during its meeting on Aug. 11. From left: Tami Hawkins, Texas Health Hospital Rockwall VP of Patient Care; Dr. Gary Bonacquisti; Cindy Perrin, Texas Health Hospital Rockwall President. Courtesy photo.

The Commissioners Court also recognized Dr. Gary Bonacquisti with a proclamation for his outstanding years of service as the county’s Health Authority. Bonacquisti served for 14 years as the local Health Authority for the community, where his leadership and knowledge helped guide other community leaders through unprecedented times.

Over the past three decades, Bonacquisti, MD, FACHE, has served as a member of the Texas Health Rockwall medical staff beginning with the hospital’s opening in December 2007. He has served as a local primary care physician, and also as team physician for Bishop Lynch High School, Dallas Christian School, and Heritage Christian Academy.

“It has been an honor to serve his community, and anyone who has that opportunity has a blessed opportunity,” Bonacquisti told the court.

In other business, the court also approved a resolution expressing support for dedicating the SH 66 bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard between Rockwall and Rowlett as the “Heroes Bridge.” The resolution was brought before the court by John Vick, a retired veteran and District Director with Sen. Bob Hall’s Office.

The resolution comes as a show of support for the #WalkTheBridge movement started in 2018 by the Third Watch LE Motorcycle Club to raise awareness and combat suicides among veterans and first responders suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). On the 22nd of each month, they invite folks to walk the bridge for 22 miles in support of suicide prevention among veterans and first responders. The number 22 refers to the VA-reported average suicides committed every day among veterans and first responders (between 17-22 per day).

In addition to campaigning to have the bridge renamed the “Heroes Bridge,” Third Watch and other local veterans groups are hoping to establish a Heroes Memorial Park as a place of honor and reflection.

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.

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