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Bracebridge Recognizes Residents For Their Achievements

Posted: 2019-05-31 08:05:08 By: hbr

The Town of Bracebridge celebrated the efforts of local volunteers and athletes at the Community Recognition and Sport Awards Ceremony held on Tuesday.

The town annually recognizes individuals and organizations who have made a significant impact in the community. 

The following individuals and organizations were recognized at the Awards Celebration:

  • Barbara Roche – Bettke Bracebridge Volunteer Service Award Barb has been a volunteer with Hospice Muskoka for ten years in many different roles, she also volunteers at Carter’s Rescue for Dogs on a regular basis and is very involved with her community, family and friends. Barb works tirelessly behind the scenes with these organizations, and never looks for anything in return. She is a committed and caring person who has given hundreds of hours of volunteer time to the community.
  • Sandy Crawford Bracebridge Volunteer Service Award Sandy has been a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Muskoka for many years. She has been a positive mentor to three different children has watched them grow, treated them as if her own and incorporated them into her family’s events. Sandy has celebrated their successes and helped them through any challenges they experienced. As a Big Sister Sandy spends at least 3 hours a week with her little sister, and has logged more than 2,000 hours helping children in the community Sandy helps out Big Brothers Big Sisters in other ways. Assisting with fundraising initiatives and special events.
  • Allan McLeod Bracebridge Senior of the Year Allan provides financial support and marketing assistance to several clubs and non-profit organizations in the community and he generously provides support to those requiring accessibility assistance. Allan is a founding member of the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club and hand-built most of the wooden equipment and signs used by the club. In addition, he designed and built a ramp and bowl pushers in consultation with Community Living South Muskoka to assist those with mobility issues so they can participate. Allan also donates his handcrafted cheese boards to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Allan is the proud President of the Probus Club of Bracebridge and encourages other Probus members to also donate their handcrafts to the ReStore.
  • Mary Lou Chuter Bracebridge Good Citizenship Award Mary Lou had the distinct honour of being nominated for the Bracebridge Good Citizenship Award by four local organizations: South Muskoka Memorial Hospital Auxiliary; Rene M. Caisse Memorial Theatre; Bracebridge Probus Club; and the Bracebridge United Church. Her combined years of service to these organizations exceeds 70 years. Mary Lou’s efforts include volunteering at the coffee bar, seating patrons at the theatre and opening her home for fundraising events and meetings. One of her most remarkable efforts is the establishment of the three thriving bell choirs at Bracebridge United Church in which seventy five people have been trained by Mary Lou over a 21-year period.
  • Muskoka Women’s Hockey League Bracebridge Outstanding Volunteer Achievement In 2014, the Muskoka Women’s Hockey League was established to provide an opportunity for women in Bracebridge to play in an organized league. This need was identified by four local hockey enthusiasts, that made the founding executive: Courtney Doran, Kim Knight, Stephanie Oates and Christy MacDonald. This initiative would change the face of local women’s hockey. The league started with four teams and in 2017 expanded to eight teams. The league brings together women of all skill levels from Bracebridge and surrounding areas. To celebrate the leagues fifth anniversary, the executive organized four teams to play in an international tournament. They chartered a plane and flew direct from Muskoka to Nashville. These women demonstrate their enthusiasm, love of hockey and have dedicated their time to provide an opportunity for women of all ages and experience levels to play hockey. Community Sport Awards The evening included the presentation of the 2019 Bracebridge Community Sport Awards. The Sport Awards are presented annually to the athlete, coach and team of the year. Those receiving awards have shown excellence in their sport; demonstrated sportsmanship; are a credit to the community; have displayed good character; and serve as excellent role models for young athletes in the community.

The following individuals were recognized at the Awards Celebration:

  • Ethan Crossett Jim Quigley Memorial Award-Bracebridge Athlete of the Year Ethan is a Grade 12 student who has been an integral part of Bracebridge athletics since he moved to town 5 years ago. He is a 5-sport athlete and excels in all of them. Ethan has represented BMLSS at regional championships in Tennis, Badminton, Golf and Soccer but his main accomplishment has been on the basketball court. In Grade 9 Ethan won the Tim Lusk Memorial Award in Grade 10 he won awards for MVP for both Junior Basketball and Soccer, and the Junior Athlete of the Year, and in Grade 11 he won the Tennis MVP Award.
  • Mark McGrath Bracebridge Community Coach of the Year Mark is the head coach of the Muskoka Grizzlies’; an all-girls hockey team in Bracebridge. This team focuses on having fun and learning hockey skills in a non-competitive, team based manner. Mark saw a need in the community to create a place for girls, under twelve, to learn how to play hockey. For the past five years Mark has secured ice time and raised funds to support the growth of this program. He committed to coaching the team eve MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 30, 2019 Bracebridge Proudly Recognizes Top Honours at Community Recognition and Sport Award Celebration
  • Muskoka Dance Connection Competitive Team Norm Harkness Memorial Award - Bracebridge Team of the Year The Muskoka Dance Connection Competitive team has achieved great results over the last couple of years. The team is comprised of approximately 50 dancers, aged 8-18, with competitive routines in many different genres. In the 2018 season, the team received many 1st place awards, judges special awards, choreography awards and at each competition had routines with the highest overall mark. The awards that the team is most proud of include: two Team Spirit Awards, and being the top scoring studio at the Kick it Up competition in Collingwood. At the end of the competitive season 13 of Muskoka Dance Connection`s competitive routines were selected from over 8,000 entries and 150 studios across Canada for the “Virtual Finals”. When competing against routines from all across Canada, Muskoka Dance Connection received three 1st place finishes, one 4th place finish, a 6th place finish, and was selected as one of the top the top 15 studios of the year.

Bracebridge Baseball Wall of Fame The Bracebridge Baseball Wall of Fame was created in 2011 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions or achievements in the sport of baseball in Bracebridge in one of four categories: Player, Coach/Official, Fan/Supporter, and Builder/Sponsor. 2019 Inductees into the Bracebridge Baseball Wall of Fame include:

  • Tom Gefucia Bracebridge Baseball Wall of Fame – Player

The Gefucia family has been playing baseball for many years. Tom, more affectionately known by his teammates as “Chico”, has spent 49 years playing men’s fastball at various levels. Tom began playing in Bracebridge at the age of 16 and continued until he left for college in North Bay where he continued to play for 6 years. Upon returning to Bracebridge Tom played for several teams with the most notable being the Gray Jays, a high level fastball team who would travel to many tournaments each summer. Over the past 40 years, Tom has played in the Bracebridge Men’s Fastball league, and has always been known for his pitching prowess.

  • Ross Watt Bracebridge Baseball Wall of Fame – Builder/Sponsor

Ross is always approachable when it comes to looking for sponsors. In the 1970’s there were several teams in the Bracebridge area requiring sponsorship, and it was at that time that Ross became involved. To follow, when the Men’s Recreational Ball League was first being formed he was approached and was one of the first to jump in and offer help. Always wanting to remain in the background, Ross continued to sponsor teams for many years. When teams needed uniforms, bats, balls, special equipment or league fees to be paid, Ross was always there for them.

  • David Veitch Bracebridge Baseball Wall of Fame – Fan/Supporter

Dave has been supporting the Bracebridge Fastball and Softball programs since 1991. He spent a decade as the scheduler for Bracebridge Fastball and also created schedules for Bracebridge Minor Ball and the Muskoka Ladies Softball League. Dave went on to become the treasurer for the Bracebridge Fastball League as well as convening multiple tournaments to help raise money for Minor Ball and other worthy causes. Dave spent time on the committee that worked towards enhancing Jubilee Park, and he also managed the Bracebridge Men’s Fastball Club for some time.

  • Mike Holm Bracebridge Baseball Wall of Fame – Coach/Official

Mike was the cornerstone of the Muskoka Hornets Baseball Association. When Mike signed on with the Hornets organization in 2012 they had limited resources and volunteer assistance. From the beginning no project was too big or small for Mike. He was a board member, coach, equipment manager, house league coordinator, tournament convener, and fulfilled many other roles for the organization. Mike’s spare time was spent with his family and at the ball diamond — he loved nothing more than to pass on his love for the game to his two sons, Mark and Lucas. It was a great loss to the baseball community when Mike passed away in 2017.