With all of the negative headlines about athletes’ and coaches’ misdeeds clogging the media, it is time to recognize the many Arizonans in sports who are doing the right things. Linking Sports & Communities LLC (LSC) is a Phoenix-based 501(c)(3) non-profit, which encourages Arizona student athletes to stay in school, lead healthy lifestyles, and be financially responsible. During the past 11 years, LSC has rewarded athletes, organizations and students, who have been nominated for making significant contributions to communities in Arizona, and, thus, are competing for charitable recognition. Denise Meridith, Founder of LSC, announced the 2015 winners of the Community Leadership Awards on Monday, July 20, 2015.
Since 2004, when its first awards were named in honor of fallen sports hero Pat Tillman, LSC has recognized athletes, coaches and executives in all sports, e.g., Luis Gonzales, Jerry Colangelo and Nick Lowery. Last year, Phoenix Suns Broadcaster Eddie Johnson and NBC-12 Sports Anchor Bruce Cooper were among those honored. Academic teachers and coaches have also been recognized. Organizations, who have won, have ranged from non-profits Future for Kids and Special Olympics, to the Phoenix Suns Wives and, last year’s winner—ASU Athletics. Students, from 12-18 years old, have been commended for their grades and community service, as well as their athletic skills.
“Athletes do not often get recognition for the great work that they do off-the-field,” says Meridith. “So we want to publicly recognize them and reward the behavior we want other athletes, especially young ones, to emulate.”
The 2015 award winners include: Robert Smith (Lifetime Achievement), 43 years as a coach and mentor in Arizona schools; Cameron Colvin, former NFL Player with San Francisco 49ers and currently CEO of Rise Above Inc; Mike Stone, AZ Coyotes Defenseman; Darryl Clack, former NFLer who runs the SportMetric company; non-profits Team M’Phasis and National Alliance of African-American Athletes; and students Emmanuel Butler, Malique Washington and Elijah Crockett. More information about the winners is available on LSC’s website www.linkingsports.org
LSC has three new partners—iAthlete, Coach’s Corner Grill, and PACC—who will join in recognizing these outstanding individuals and organizations at the Community Leadership Awards ceremony on November 4, 2015, 5-7 PM at the new Scheduling Institute at 245 E Jackson St, Phoenix, AZ. Sponsors and others interested in supporting and/or attending the banquet should contact firstname.lastname@example.org