HARRISONBURG — Christy King, mother of Christopher King and founder of the Christopher King Foundation, was among the 21 award winners recognized during the annual Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) Awards Banquet held Saturday night, July 15, at James Madison University in Harrisonburg.
King was recognized with the YOVASO Shining Star Award for “her courage in speaking out in order to help save young lives.”
In its first year, Tabb High School’s YOVASO club was recognized as New YOVASO Club of the Year, and the group’s club sponsor, Michelle Koontz of York County, was recognized as New YOVASO Sponsor of the Year for her support and guidance to the newly formed club as its advisor.
Additionally, York County’s Gweedo Memorial Foundation presented its scholarship to Emma Ogden, a 2023 graduate of Jefferson Forest High School in Bedford County.
The 2023 awards ceremony’s theme was “Groovin’ Thru the Decades: Honoring Leaders for Safe Teen Driving.” Two former club members, Mandy Adkins, Director of Parks and Recreation for Botetourt County, and Callie Clary, a fourth-grade teacher for Roanoke City Public Schools, gave the keynote address.
YOVASO, a program of the Virginia State Police and is funded by a grant from the Virginia DMV Highway Safety Office, is Virginia’s peer-to-peer education and prevention program for teen driver safety. YOVASO has existed since 2001 and works with schools and youth groups across the commonwealth to improve young driver and passenger safety.