President Drew Espy’s Letter
On behalf of the All Sports Association, I welcome you to the 51st annual awards banquet. Tonight’s banquet is the highlight of our year, when we honor the finest athletes from across Northwest Florida, individuals who embody the ideals of the Association: achievement, performance, and sportsmanship.
Tonight we will present awards in seven categories: male and female scholastic, male and female collegiate, amateur, professional, and Special Olympian.
In addition to those awards, the All Sports Association has the privilege of being the presentation venue once again for the Wuerffel Trophy, “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” to Western Michigan University quarterback Jon Wassink, who was selected this year as the top college player excelling in athletics, academics, and community service.
Other special recognitions include the announcement of our Hall of Fame Inductees and the presentation of the Al Byrne Award, our most prestigious local award, recognizing an individual who has made sustained and outstanding contributions to youth athletics in our area.
The All Sports Association is made up of dues-paying volunteers who contribute their time and talents toward our primary mission of supporting local youth-oriented, non-profit organizations, with an emphasis on sports-related programs. There is no paid staff and all funds after expenses are used to further this mission. Please visit www.allsportsassociation.org to learn more about us and how you can support our work.
Through this banquet and other fundraising events throughout the year, we support numerous
local non-profit organizations. Four primary beneficiaries will be acknowledged tonight:
• Boys and Girls Club
• Special Olympics of Florida- Okaloosa County
• Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Okaloosa and Walton Counties
• Eleanor J. Johnson Youth Center in Fort Walton Beach
Annually we contribute $140,000 ($35,000 each) to these four organizations and roughly an additional $60,000 to other non-profit organizations involved with youth athletics. We can only do this because of your support and for that we offer our sincere thanks.
This morning we hosted the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Prayer Breakfast for area middle school and high school athletes who participate in FCA. In addition to personal testimonies from their peers and a keynote message from previous Wuerffel Trophy winner Dr. DT Shackelford, attendees witnessed the presentation of the 12th annual Taylor Haugen Trophy. This award, presented in partnership with the Taylor Haugen Foundation, recognizes a high school athlete who best exemplifies the combination of athletic and academic achievement, community service, leadership, and faith with a “never give up/never quit” attitude.
As a youth, I attended the All Sports Banquet with my dad every year, so it was an honor to be asked to join the All Sports Association twelve years ago. Twelve years later it has truly been an honor to lead the Association this year, a year I will never forget.
To my fellow members, thank you for the opportunity to serve as President of our organization. I appreciate your support and
dedication to our mission.
We especially thank our banquet and program sponsors, who continue to support us and make
all of this possible.
Welcome and please join us this evening in honoring an outstanding group of athletes from Northwest Florida.
All Sports Association President 2019-2020