2021 Awards – Welcome Back!

 
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xxxxxxxxxxxxxThe Silver Strider Awards Party

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by Jerry Dietrich
with photos by Bruce Fisher


The Prelude

I can hardly believe how lucky we were to find JoeSeppi’s Italian Restaurant for our awards party. Betty and I scoured Gig Harbor, Tacoma, Tukwilla, and other areas trying to find a location that would accept us.

“We can’t do it”, we heard over and over. “We laid off most of our staff during Covid and it will take several months to hire and train new people”.

So you can imagine how excited we were to receive a call from JoeSeppi’s inviting us to hold our event in their recently remodeled banquet room.

The new owner, Zena Dodson (below) graciously welcomed us. Though they were also short staffed, she promised to provide extra help as needed.

And boy, did she do a good job! Zena had lots of help and everything went off perfectly. Our sincere thanks to Zena and her staff.

The Program

I welcomed everyone in attendance and introduced our host Zena Dodson. Next we observed a moment of silence for our departed Silver Striders , Chloe Parr and Barbara Macklow.

Afterward, we ordered lunch. The menu was great and the food superb. The tables were decorated by Nanci Larsen with centerpieces offering clever sayings. The trophy table had “Welcome Back” lettering across the front.

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After lunch I opened by mentioning that our last awards party was on January 11th, 2020. Only one month later, Covid struck and most of the races on the Grand Prix schedule went virtual.

I congratulated the Silver Striders for participating in the programs we held to keep us motivated during the long quarantine period.

We began the awards with two belated presentations. Two Super Athletes who missed their ring ceremony 18 months ago were in attendance. Bob Hoekman and Vicki Griffiths were honored and presented with Super Athlete rings for 2019. They also received a gift certificate from South Sound Running.

Next it was announced that Louise Mihay and Dennis Zaborac were the top handicap finishers for the Kent Cornucopia Days 5k. Each received a $50 Gift Certificate from Super Jock n Jill.

Bob Hoekman and Vicki Griffiths

Dennis Zaborac

Louise Mihay


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The program moved on to the Grand Prix Series awards for 2020. To streamline the program age group presentations included both men and women, except for first place finishers who would be honored separately.

Assisting with the presentations were Diane Martin who presented the trophies and Betty Dietrich who distributed the gift certificates. All finishers, except 1st place winners, received their finishers trophy and a $50 gift certificate from Super Jock n Jill.

Finishers Sue Wirsch 55-59 (left), and 60-64 Ken Peper and Audrey Kirkwood.

65-69 finishers. (l to r) Charlea Sherman, Dave Sherman, Sandra Madden, Steve Husko and Patty Husko.

70-74 finishers are left to right Nanci Larsen, Ray Arrington and Diane Martin

75-79 finishers are left to right Betty Dietrich, Gretchen Ramsdell and Arne Hales

80-84 finishers are left to right Louise Mihay and Molly Childs

The age division winners received their trophy and a gift certificate for a pair of running shoes from South Sound Running.

The age group winners are (left to right standing) Nick Bailey, Steve Ramsdell, Karen Lichtenstein, Edythe Hulet, Larry Larsen, Marsha Murray and Jerry Dietrich. Winners (kneeling left to right) are Karl Johnson, Kent Sizer, Judy Fisher and Tiare Bailey.

The Grand Prix Series Achievement awards were next. We had some ties and the Grand Prix committee decided to give multiple awards for 2020.

Receiving the title of Mr. Grand Prix are left to right Nick Bailey and Steve Husko. Receiving the title of Ms Grand Prix are Patty Husko, Nanci Larsen, Tiare Bailey and Marsha Murray.

A special trophy was presented to Tiare Bailey for running the highest total mileage for the Series with 132 miles.

Special recognition was give to Karen Lichtenstein, Diane Martin and Charlea Sherman for their contributions to the Silver Strider during the pandemic. Each was presented with a $50 gift certificate.

Left to right are Tiare Bailey, Diane Martin, Karen Lichtenstein and Charlea Sherman.

Then it was time to take a break from the awards presentations to hold our drawing. It was conducted by Bruce Fisher.

Charlea and Dave Sherman selected an abundance of items for the prize drawing. As numbers were called out, each winner could choose their own prize. It was a popular way to conduct the drawing. The Godiva Chocolates and Old Baileys were the first to go.

Following the drawings Gretchen Ramsdell delivered an emotional thank you to Nick and Tiare Bailey. The Baileys generously helped Gretchen and Steve to complete the Grand Prix Series and Distance Derby. Nick assisted with their race registration and they both provided running companionship for each race.

Gretchen Ramsdell, Nick Bailey and Tiare Bailey

The Distance Derby awards were next. Custom Distance Derby medals were presented to all finishers. The emphasis for the Derby was on participation and mileage. Those who completed 6 – 7 Derby races received their medal with a green neck ribbon. Those who finished 8 – 9 races received their medal with a red neck ribbon. Those who did all 10 races on the schedule received their medal with a customized blue ribbon.


Distance Derby Finishers

There was a four way tie for the most mileage in the Series. Those tied were, David Anderson, Jim Dollar, Judy Fisher and Arne Hales. They entered every race and selected the longest distance offered including the final race in the Derby – the NODM marathon. They reached a total of 134.3 miles. Each received a $50 gift certificate.

Derby winners left to right David Anderson, Arne Hales, Judy Fisher and Jim Dollar.

The Distance Derby Championship Cup was to be awarded to the runner with the highest mileage. Since we had a 4 way tie, we had to employ the tiebreaker which gave the cup to the oldest runner.

At age 81, Jim Dollar was the Distance Derby Champion. Jim received a standing ovation.

It was a great finish to a wonderful afternoon.

The party was adjourned to the front of the restaurant for an outdoor group photo.

Photos and Post Race Comments

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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxSilver Strider Post Party Comments:

I cannot praise Bruce Fisher enough for his artistry with a camera. How he does the beautiful work appearing in this article and the Kent 5k Race Report is beyond my comprehension. His ability to catch runners in full stride with pleasant facial expressions is truly remarkable. No professional photographer for any race can produce work at the level Bruce give us.
Jerry Dietrich

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We loved JoeSeppi’s and the food was great as was the service.  Hope we can go there again.
Louise Mihay
Edythe Hulet

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The food and service at Joeseppi’s was spectacular, the service was very very good. Great place! xxxxxxxxxx Diane Johnson

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Thanks so much for a wonderful awards party. I really appreciated the comments that you added for the runners as they received their awards. We had excellent attendance at the event, and I was thrilled to see so many Silver Striders after the long pandemic shut down. Joeseppi’s was a perfect location for the party, and the decorations were very clever with lots of jokes.
A great celebration for all of us.

Karen Lichtenstein

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It was really great to see everybody. Nice job in arranging the whole affair. Looking forward to the next SS event.
Bruce Fisher

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What a pleasant shock to see I came in first at Kent with the handicap.  And thank you for your kind words.  I don’t expect to see another first place finish anytime soon so I am enjoying it while I can. 
Louise Mihay

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I thought it turned out very well. I want to send a thank you note to the lady you introduced us to yesterday. I felt they did a good job.
Nanci Larsen

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Thank you! It was such a surprise to be honored yesterday. The venue was perfect; thanks to your diligence in finding the right place. I think everyone had a great time.
Diane Martin

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Thanks so much for inviting me to the banquet today! It’s a pleasure to be a part of this! I’ve totally enjoyed all of it. Thanks for all the special awards, I never expected anything like that!
Ken Peper

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What a fun time. It was great seeing everyone. Thank you for the lovely banquet. It was good to see everyone having fun and looking good. Thank you for the special recognition.
The Shermans

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Thank you for a wonderful Strider luncheon; likely the most emotional and heartfelt Strider event attended. Being together post pandemic lent a special positive ambiance. Gretchen’s grateful acknowledgment of the Bailey’s friendship brought tears to everyone’s eyes. We needed that luncheon and we need each other. Friendships have flourished among the group and the personal support is a beautiful thing.
Sandy Madden

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Awards Party Intro Video

Awards Party Video