Earlier this week, the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats saluted members of the city’s football community, including players, parents, coaches, and volunteers from various minor football organizations.
In 2012, the Tiger-Cats saw an opportunity to assume a leadership role in the development of football communities throughout the Hamilton and area regions and they joined forces with Tim Hortons on the ‘Play Action’ initiative. Tuesday (Sept. 24) night’s dinner and awards was a fundraiser for area minor football organizations.
Volunteers with the Hamilton Wentworth Minor Football Association were front and centre for the event after being nominated for four of the major awards and taking home one that were handed out.
Those nominees included Donavin Milloy nominated for the Less Browne Outstanding Achievement Award, Marshall Khokhar nominated for the Danny McManus Leadership Award, Colin Clarke nominated for the Rocky DiPietro Builder Award, and Barb Watts winning the Bob Krouse Volunteer Award.
Watts is your typical ‘all-in’ volunteer doing anything needed to make the HWMFA successful. In her 10 years with the association she has been registrar, secretary, and manager of several teams. Currently she is the group’s treasurer and was the assistant manager for the 2013 Ontario champion Varsity team.
Milloy is a player with the Atom AAA Tiger-Cats and Khokhar plays for the Peewee AAA Tiger-Cats.
Clarke has served in many capacities for more than 20 years with the HWMFA in both coaching and executive roles. He is currently the head coach of the HWMFA Atom AA Tiger-Cats.
The night included speeches from current Ticat quarterback Henry Burris and former players Angelo Mosca, Bob Krouse, Rocky DiPietro, and Less Browne and was emceed by Hamilton business legend Ron Foxcroft. The keynote speaker for the minor football fundraiser was Tiger-Cat head coach Kent Austin. Austin talked about respect, trustworthiness, passion, leadership, commitment and a standard of excellence. He used examples of his career and personal life to convey those messages to the crowd.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Michael V. Young “What Ya Gotta Do” Award to Dylan Atack, which drew a roar from the Ticat players and a standing ovation for Dylan as the popular choice in the awards inaugural presentation.
As an assistant equipment manager, Atack has been associated with the professional football team for 10 years.
Hamiton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young presented the award named after his brother.
The evening ended with several Tiger-Cat players and coaches signing autographs and giving minor football players and their parents photo ops, and a lifelong memory.