By Bonnie Wright and Jane Johnson
B: Here at the Academy Awards of the Gulf Winds Track Club, Jane and I felt this award was too important to let just one person present the award. J: The Cleveland-Caldwell Advancement of the Sport Award recognizes an individual who makes significant contributions to the advancement of the sport, through research, education or some other area of expertise.
B: Recognized last year was Perry Shaw, and 6 other coaches over these past many years have also won. You might expect another coach to be recognized. But don’t get your hopes up! J: We recognize tonight, and for the next year, an individual whose service to Gulf Winds Track Club is just as important as the service to the community at large. The recipient of this year’s award is recognized for service in all of the categories outlined, but mostly in the stated mission area of expertise, because it’s this individual’s wide ranging talents, energy, and drive that have so impressed the committee.
B: This individual is a mentor to young runners. Mentoring can take several shapes. Through education, social services and sports. We are quite fortunate that the young runners in our community are led by an example of doing good things for others. The primary mission of education is always stressed and athletically several of these young runners are now state contenders at the high school level. J: A mentor to developing runners through many years of inspiration, motivation, being an active role model, and perhaps even sharing a bit of “get your butt going” encouragement with the club’s many training groups.
B: Developing premier races that are envied. J: Directing races for the Club that are successful and challenging.
B: Volunteering at many club races, and volunteering to do ANY job at a race. You know we all have our favorite tasks. Any task is fun for this individual. J: Recognizing the potential for giving back to our community through public service and practicing this “art” through hours of selfless work. Sometimes we are fortunate to recognize an idea, tie it together with another idea or program, and create something new, meaningful and thoughtful for many, many others. This individual has done that with her work at Turkey Trot.
B: This individual is the coach of a local high school team who went tot districts this year. This individual is the Race Director with her husband at the Ten Mile Challenge and will step up to Springtime in April. This individual participates with the many training groups that GWTC offers. This individual organizes, collects and distributes tons of needed toiletries, clothing and food for the Shelter and the Refuge House.
B: And the winner is: B: for her coaching, mentoring, development, directing, volunteering and community service J: We’re very pleased to announce: Judy Alexander