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On Friday, Kiwanis Club of Kingston will hold its annual sport banquet and awards ceremony at the Ambassador Conference Resort. This year marks the 31st anniversary of the Kiwanis Sports Banquet that recognizes amateur athletes and teams in the Kingston area and district. Every year the banquet honors individuals, builders and teams and awards the prestigious Gus Marker Trophy to Kingston’s Amateur Athlete of the Year.
Gus Marker, last surviving member of the Montreal Maroons 1935 Stanley Cup championship team, was a long time Kiwanis member. He played ten seasons in the National Hockey League for the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Maroons, Toronto Maple Leafs and Brooklyn Americans and after retiring to the Kingston area was an enthusiastic booster of amateur sport in the region.
Past winners of the Gus Marker Trophy have included boxer Mark Leduc (1992), hockey players Alyn McCauley (1996) and Jayna Hefford (1997), golfer Matt McQuillan (1999), and triathlete Simon Whitfield (2000).
This year nine finalists are in the running for the Gus Marker Trophy including Max Caron (football), Scott Harrington (hockey), Kerr Hutchinson (fencing), 2011 winner Augusta James (golf), Tyler Osborne (squash), Stephanie Rychlo (dance), Tyler Santoni (volleyball), and Alex Wright (BMX) and I was extremely humbled to be included as a finalist.
This year’s banquet will also honour two builders and three teams. Builders include longtime Church Athletic League coach Ken Ohtake and Sydenham Golden Eagles track and field/soccer coach Leslie Lawlor. Teams include the National Capital Bowl champion Frontenac Falcons football team, the Canadian Interuniversity Sport champion Queen’s Golden Gaels women’s soccer team and the Ontario Federation of Sport Athletic Associations champion Holy Cross Crusaders midget boys cross-country team.
If you are planning to be in the Kingston Area and are interested in attending the banquet, you call 544-1221 or 549-2020 for more information or tickets.