Coming on board as the Graduate Assistant at Sportable has been an adventure to say the least! My first exposure to the Sportable community came at the 2nd Annual Tailgate on September 14, 2013. Amy and Rafe Wilkinson generously hosted the fun-filled event at their beautiful home. Amy is a member of our Board and also Chair of Development Committee. A variety of food trucks supplied delicious fare. Guests enjoyed drinks and live music—from a well known band called the “BIG Guys” (formerly GOOD Guys for you veteran band followers).
Other sponsors of the night included
- Bon Secours Richmond Health System (title sponsor)
- CraftMaster Homes
- S.B. Cox Ready Mix
- ODS Security Solutions
- Mosaic Cafe and Catering
We were also supported by our Board of Directors:
- Board President: Michael E. Klein
- Vice President: Leigh Bernard
- Secretary: Amy Wilkinson, M.Ed.
- Leslie Thibodeau
- Jeff Tunstall
- Ed Largo, Ph.D.
- Kyra Oliver
- Dr. William McKinley
- Anie E. Caddigan
- Chris Durand
- Robert “Bob” Dewar
- The Honorable John H. Hager
- John W. Montgomery, Jr.
- David Richardson
A highlight of the night was the inductions of four Sportable athletes into the newly established Hall of Fame. It was absolutely awe-inspiring to hear the stories and accomplishments of the athletes who were being inducted into the Hall of Fame:
- Matthew Deans Adult Male Athlete of the Year
- Robin Yoder Adult Female Athlete of the Year
- Christian Largo Youth Male Athlete of the Year
- Taylor Bernard Youth Female Athlete of the Year
Some of the keynote speakers and presenters of these honorees included Bon Secours’ and Sportable Vice President Leigh Bernard, mother of Sportable athlete, Taylor Bernard; former Redskin football player, Dion Foxx; Sportbackers’ Executive Director, Jon Lugbill; VCU Director of Athletic Facilities, Tim Lampe; and former Lieutenant Governor , The Honorable John Hager.
The theme of the evening was “Ask Me My Sportable Story,’ as Sportable has impacted the more than just the lives of Sportable athletes, but also the lives of our volunteers, community partners, and pretty much anyone that has the opportunity to be part of the Sportable Team (I can certainly attest to that already…and I have only been here a few weeks!!). I was blown away by the spirit of the athletes depicted through their stories: overcoming adversity and capitalizing on their abilities to become the best athletes and overall people that they can be, in turn making the people around them better. The evening was the perfect introduction to the powerful impact that Sportable has on its athletes, their families, friends, and the Richmond community, with 188 people attending. I am thrilled to be a part of this organization and am eager to meet and learn more about the hundreds of other amazing Sportable athletes, family members, friends, volunteers and supporters alike!
By: Kerry Gannon