Thanks for joining us for the Night of Champions Awards Dinner!
Includes Cocktail Reception, Silent Auction, Three Course Seated Dinner and Awards Program.
Photos from the 2015 edition of the Team DC Night of Champions:
Our special guest speaker will be Andrew Goldstein (left), a former All-American Lacrosse player from Dartmouth who is credited with being the very first openly gay player on a professional sports team when he was drafted by Major League Lacrosse. He was profiled by ESPN first in 2005 and again in 2015 for his ongoing work to help establish The Courage Game to support LGBT youth. His is a powerful story you will want to hear!
Our emcee for the Night of Champions will be Omar Sharif, Jr. (right). He is not only the grandson of the iconic actor, but has been a popular celebrity in his own right and is known for his ads for Calvin Klein and Coca Cola. He is thought to be the first celebrity to come out publicly in the Arab world and was the Eastern National Spokesperson for GLAAD from 2013-2015. He remains a leading voice for LGBT rights, particularly in the Arab world.
The 2015 Champions Award Winners:
The MVP Award recognizes individuals that have made a significant contributionto their sport club or tournament over the past year.
- Von Gerik Allena of the Washington Renegades Rugby Club for his dedication to Rugby on and off the pitch. In addition to his fierceness on the field as demonstrated by being named “Man of the Match” at recent tournament in Seattle, Von has served as the club’s Social Chair to help solidify the camaraderie among the players.
- George Zokle of Stonewall Billiards for his work to establish a new club for Billiards enthusiasts. He not only found initial Sponsors, but organized the schedules and recruited 80 players for their first season. He is already planning for the next season as well as tournaments in 2016.
The Trailblazer Award recognizes individuals that have worked for many years to support and in some cases, establish their teams and tournaments.
- Derrick Johnson of the DC Different Drummers for his enthusiastic support for the DC Different Drummers, the area’s only LGBT Marching and Orchestral Band. Derrick has held most positions with DCDD over the years and helped bring music to many events in the Team DC Night OUT Series.
- Bob “Pixie” Fontaine of the Capital Area Rainbowlers Association for his 20+ years of service to the local LGBT Bowling community. Every successful team must have someone like Pixie to help do everything from selling Raffle tickets to Chairing Tournaments. It would be tough to list all of the many jobs he has undertaken over the years, but suffice to say, CARA would not be the same without Pixie.
- Heather Walenga of the Washington Wetskins Water Polo Team for her service for over 10 years as the Coach of the Wetskins, the longest continuously operating LGBT water polo team in the U.S. Her dedication to the sport continued from playing for Northwestern in grad school to coaching and playing with the Wetskins, despite moves and pregnancies. Both Heather and her husband, Mike, are full-fledged members of the team and demonstrate the inclusiveness of this sport family.
The Community Support Award recognizes individuals, organizations or businesses that have supported the teams and the entire LGBT sporting community.
- Sean Bartel of the DC Gay Flag Football League for his countless hours behind the camera that has helped make the DCGFFL into a true juggernaut in the world of Flag Football. The impact of his “You Can Play” videos and other promotional pieces have gone worldwide with over 100,000 hits annually and the impact of his work has helped build bridges between gay and straight leagues and touched lives well beyond the football fields in D.C.
- Dave Perruzza and JR’s Bar for their enthusiastic support of numerous leagues, teams and Team DC over the years. Whether it is hosting a Bachelor Auction, opening up space for a Yard Sale, donating items to countless fundraisers or simply being a welcoming place to gather after a long afternoon of competition, Dave and JR’s have become an indelible part of the LGBT Sports Community.
We also recognized the recipients of the 2015 Team DC College Scholarships, including:
- Fayra Bonilla-Rubi of Lee High School (Fairfax, VA). Fayra played soccer at Lee High School and attends Potomac State College of West Virginia University.
- Lisa Chen of West Springfield High School (Springfield, VA). Lisa now attends the University of Virginia and played basketball during her high school years.
- Lillian Chong of Mount Vernon High School (Alexandria, VA). Lillian was Captain of her high school Dance Team and now attends George Mason University.
- Kyra McClary of T.C. Williams High School (Alexandria, VA). Kyra was an accomplished athlete in high school and plans to continue her rowing career while attending Smith College (MA).
- Jameesha Parker of Luke Moore Alternative High School (Washington, DC). Jameesha was Captain of her Cheerleading Squad in high school and attends the University of the District of Columbia.
- Gabriel Perkins of West Potomac High School (Alexandria, VA). Gabriel is an accomplished swimmer and plans to continue swimming as he attends Virginia Commonwealth University.
- Nora O’Leary of Washington-Lee High School (Arlington, VA). Nora was a player and manager for her soccer team in high school and will attend Loyola University (New Orleans).
- John Ramsey of Montgomery Blair High School (Silver Spring, MD). John was Captain of the varsity baseball team at Montgomery Blair High School and attends Oberlin College.
- Sam Song of Poolesville High School (Poolesville, MD). Sam is a long-time competitive swimmer and now swims on the team at St. Lawrence University (NY).