February 15, 2019
Fifty years ago, a group of men set forth to acknowledge the high character of young athletes from Northwest Florida as well as the leaders who inspired them with uncompromising integrity and leadership. These pioneers established the All Sports Association and a tradition that, a half-century later, continues to promote these qualities of sportsmanship at the highest levels. Tonight, we pay tribute to the visionaries who served before us, while recognizing individuals from our community who achieved success with a commitment to these principles — principles which transcend sports.
On behalf of our past and present members, we welcome you to the 50th Annual All Sports Association Banquet! All Sports is a group of dues-paying volunteers who contribute their time and resources toward our primary mission: supporting local, youth-oriented, non-profit organizations with an emphasis on sportsrelated programs. We have no paid staff and every penny raised beyond our direct expenses is used to further this mission. Through tonight’s banquet and other events, funds raised with the help of our sponsors benefit numerous organizations, including our four primary beneficiaries:
• Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast
• Special Olympics Florida—Okaloosa County
• Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Okaloosa and Walton County
• Eleanor J. Johnson Youth Center in Fort Walton Beach
This week, we hosted a series of events to honor remarkable athletes from Northwest Florida. On Wednesday, Dr. Jolyn Taylor and heavyweight champ Roy Jones, Jr. were inducted into our Hall of Fame. Following yesterday’s golf tournament, our annual Fish Fry dinner recognized the accomplishments of many high school students from our three-county region. Nearly 1,500 area high school athletes gathered this morning at Northwest Florida State College to hear peer testimonies and inspiring messages from Coaches Bobby Bowden and Tommy Bowden at the Buck Smith FCA Prayer Breakfast. The prestigious Taylor Haugen Trophy was presented to Rocky Bayou Christian School’s Lydia Turner, who exemplifies the character traits of Taylor Haugen, a young man who tragically lost his life on the football field in 2008.
Tonight, we celebrate our award winners. We will present the Colonel Al Byrne Award, recognizing an individual who made sustained and outstanding contributions to youth athletics. It’s our privilege to host the presentation of the Wuerffel Trophy, “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” an award received on this stage a decade ago by tonight’s keynote speaker, Tim Tebow. This year’s recipient, Drue Tranquill of Notre Dame, personifies the qualities championed by our own Danny Wuerffel.
We owe a huge “THANK YOU” to our sponsors and partners who provide the resources to make this event possible. As this year’s President, words cannot express the extent of my gratitude for the efforts put forth by our members and Past Presidents all year long. Their dedication is a constant reminder of why All Sports Association is such a great place to serve. Thanks to my fellow members for affording me this extraordinary opportunity. And most notably, thank you to my incredible family. You are the greatest blessing of my life. Your support and many sacrifices this year will never be forgotten.
Welcome to this milestone evening for the All Sports Association.
All Sports Association