Every September, without fail, the GTHL season begins. For several months early morning practices, weekend tournaments and arena coffee make up the lives of families across the GTA. By the time June rolls around, the focus has shifted to summer and often to other sports.
The start of June also signifies a time of tradition, as the GTHL hosts its annual Awards Celebration to recognize the achievements of its most outstanding members.
Representatives from all of the League’s organizations were on hand Wednesday at the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel to celebrate a group that included players, teams, volunteers and officials. They also honoured 2015-16 Kraft Cup, Scotiabank Playoffs and OHF champions, with special recognition for the North York Rangers who won their first TELUS Cup national Midget AAA championship.
While speaking about the scholarship award winners, GTHL president Don West said he believes the GTHL “makes good young people today, and good adults tomorrow.”
Perhaps the most prestigious accolade of the evening was presented to Joseph D’Angelo, who received the Cooper Humanitarian Award for his service to minor hockey, particularly in the Don Mills community. D’Angelo, 93, was quite poetic while accepting his award, saying that working with youth serves to keep us all young.
Therein lies the beauty of our game – it provides kids the opportunity to improve as players and people, and allows many more to take an active role in their community.
Now that’s something to celebrate.
A complete list of awards winners is included below. Click each name to learn more about their achievements.
Cooper Humanitarian Award – Joseph D’Angelo
Herb Ebisuzaki Coaching Award – Richard Brewda
Gus Gordon Memorial Officials Award – Rob Brown
Gord Hughes Minor Midget AAA Scholarship Award – Daanyal Chaudry
Len Barrett Midget House League Scholarship Award – Liam Donaghy
Frank D. Smith Midget A Scholarship Award – Matthew Kotansky
J. Norman Sharp Midget AA Scholarship Award – Alessandro Antonini
George F. Dufton Midget AAA Scholarship Award – Jonathan Sharir-Smith