Sandy Hawley Award Recipients (11)
The Western Ontario Athletic Association boasts longevity and a rich history of community service.
The W.O.A.A., a non-profit corporation, currently coordinates programs for 390 minor hockey teams, 5l women's hockey teams, 14 Senior hockey teams and 8 softball teams for a total of 463 teams. They are the governing body of minor and senior sports in a region encompassing Grey County, Bruce County, Perth County, Huron County, northern Middlesex County, and northern Wellington County. The WOAA Senior Hockey League has been around since 1948.
The organization itself has been in existence since 1942, when W.T. "Doc" Cruickshank saw his dream become a reality by forming a governing sports body for local hometown communities in southwestern Ontario.
Today, the W.O.A.A. are affiliated members of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association, the Ontario Women's Hockey Association, and Softball Ontario. They also have a close working relationship with the Ontario Amateur Softball Association.
In 2017, the W.O.A.A. celebrated their 75th Anniversary in conjunction with their 15th Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament.
At the event, the W.O.A.A. recognized 23 local sport community builders who had volunteered numerous hours over the years for the betterment of their home centres, the youth and future sports programs. The W.O.A.A. were also pleased to welcome back "home" several local sports alumni to celebrate this milestone.
Hazel McCallion, businesswoman, politician and mayor of Mississauga from 1978-2014.
One of Canada's longest-serving mayors, McCallion led her city for 12 consecutive terms, only retiring at age 93. Nicknamed “Hurricane Hazel” for her brash political style, she oversaw the development of Mississauga from a semi-rural bedroom community into the sixth-largest city in Canada. McCallion is considered a trailblazer for women in politics.
Under her leadership, Mississauga grew from a collection of small towns and farmland, as the population nearly tripled and the rapid pace of development transformed the area. McCallion recounted that in the early days of her mayoralty, she could look across the street from the old city hall and see “cows and horses grazing in the field.” Mississauga’s new city hall — an award-winning feat of postmodern architecture —opened in 1987.
Since her departure from politics, she has been appointed chancellor of Sheridan College and special advisor to the principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga. McCallion has also become an outspoken advocate for seniors, and against discrimination towards the elderly.
Trish Stratus is a fitness icon, entrepreneur and actress. Recognized as one of WWE's all-time greats, Trish is a seven-time Women's Champion and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. Trish has dedicated her life to health and fitness and upon retiring from WWE, she parlayed her success and passion into her fitness lifestyle brand, Stratusphere. In 2010, she launched a line of retail products which includes yoga and fitness equipment and a line of fitness DVDs. She further expanded her offerings with a line of wellness teas.
Trish lives in Toronto with her husband and high school sweetheart Ron, and their two children Max and their newest addition, Madison.
Peter Gilgan, born and raised in Ontario, is a self-made business owner. As the Founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes, Mr. Gilgan is one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs. Having built over 65,000 homes across the United States and Canada, Mattamy is truly a community-oriented company. You cannot miss the impact he has made when passing by the Mattamy Athletic Centre, the highly-touted athletic facility of Ryerson University, that has also been used by Canada Basketball, and most recently the Pan American/Para Pan American games.
His contribution to the province is undeniable. Whether it is through the Tour de Bleu, a cycling event that that raised $2.7 million for the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, a $30 million donation to St. Michael’s Hospital for a new patient care tower in September 2014, his lead donation and fundraising for the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, or his recent initiative (on behalf of Mattamy Homes) to support Cycling Canada for 12 months in a variety of ways, Mr. Gilgan understands that contributing to community life is essential as it inspires to do the same.
His dedication to our province’s and country’s athletes has truly shown in his work and in his own words, “For an athlete… that knowing someone has their backs will encourage them”. This is why we would like to honour his work by presenting Peter Gilgan with the 2016 Sandy Hawley Community Service Award.
William Francis "Zeke" O'Connor, Jr. (born May 2, 1926) is a retired American football end who played five seasons in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and Canadian Football League (CFL) in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
A late-game touchdown catch by O'Connor helped the Argonauts win the Grey Cup in 1952.
After his playing career, and served as the color commentator for Grey Cup broadcasts from 1956 to 1981. He became friends with the famed mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary and helped establish a foundation in his name to benefit Sherpas in Nepal.
O'Connor started the foundation and was its president for more than 30 years, helping build schools and hospitals in Nepal. He also introduced Nepal to the Special Olympics, an athletic competition for disabled adults. His daughter Karen took over the foundation in 2008. O'Connor published a memoir in 2012 called Journey with the Sherpas: The Story of Zeke O’Connor and the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation.
He lives in Toronto and still visits the Sherpas annually. He has three children.
Famed singer and actor Michael Burgess was the first individual to sing "O Canada" at the World Series, celebrating the Toronto Blue Jays' 1992 debut.
The Ontario Sports Hall of Fame would like to take a moment to reflect on the loss of Michael Burgess the famed tenor and winner of the OSHF Sandy Hawley Award last year. This award is presented to an individual who contributes to the sporting world and beyond. Michael certainly has done this through his stirring rendition of O Canada. An important but nonetheless important fact especially this year as our Blue Jays soar to new heights it should be remembered that Michael was the first individual to sing O Canada at a World Series game: in Atlanta in 1992.
Michael was a true caring and supporter of the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. He will be remembered by us for his pure, moving and flawless rendition of "The Impossible Dream" at the unveiling of our temporary home near Maple Leaf Square.
As Michael said many years ago "The next most exciting thing in life is just around the corner and the most important thing is to be open to it."
Michael we will miss you and your support a new journey awaits you.
The OSHOF Board of Directors
The 2010 Ontario Sports Hall of Fame event saw the inaugural presentation of the Sandy Hawley Award. This award recognizes a sports-connected personality dedicated to community service.
This 2010 Sandy Hawley Award winner was Mort Greenberg.
A former oustanding sports television cameraman, Mort for more than 30 years raised funds for both the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun Christmas funds, raising thousands of dollars annually for these worthy charities.
Famous for his thank you Christmas cards he would send to all those who contributed, Mort became an icon in the sports community, as he literally went from arena to arena seeking donations to help the kids at Christmas. He curled for many years in the Sportsmens Curling League at the Royal Canadian Curling Club, and in the past was a pretty good baseball player, for what was then called, the 'Lizzies, Playground teams.
A very well deserved honour, the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame is proud to salute Mort Greenberg as the 2010 winner of the Sandy Hawley Award.
Congratulations, Mort, and thank you for your tireless efforts.
Adriano was born and raised in Toronto. A standout of the Central Tech football program, he was able to earn a scholarship at the University of Houston where he starred as a defensive tackle. Belli was drafted in the CFL but opted for the NFL and XFL instead before finally joining the Lions in 2001. After stints in BC, Montreal and Hamilton, Belli finally landed with the hometown Argos in 2007. This 6’5, 289 pound defensive tackle made quite a reputation for himself on the field as a devastating hitter and debilitating tackler. But off the field, it was a totally different story. Adriano got the nickname "The Kissing Bandit" for the affectionate way he greets those he meets. Early in his career, Belli began donating his time and efforts to set up his Big Kiss Fund, which has raised thousands of dollars for the Hospital For Sick Children.
After 11 years of pro football, Belli retired this past spring to become more involved with the family meat packing business. But he continues to be heavily involved in charity work and continues his annual Valentine’s Day dinner, where he invites former teammates to serve up meals for The Big Kiss Fund.
The 2012 Sandy Hawley Award Winner is Darryl Sittler. In the credit where credit is due department, Darryl Sittler wants to spread this honour around. Which is how come one of the most popular Maple Leafs that ever was is dedicating his Sandy Hawley Award to the folks who provide the heart, soul and backbone for all the charity organizations to which he lends his time – the volunteers.
"I'm just one small part of any charity," Sittler was saying this past winter, on the day the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame announced its slate for today's proceedings. "My name may help bring attention, but it's all the volunteers who deserve the recognition."
Sittler, too, though, has been utterly dedicated to assorted causes over the years. And while colon cancer has been of prime focus since 2002, when he lost Wendy, his wife of 30 years, the required selfless mind-set has been in place at least since the summer of 1980 when he plugged into Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope.
"I wanted to meet him as much as he wanted to meet me," Sittler recalled a few years back. They had run down University Avenue together to Toronto's city hall and the crowd of 10,000 that finally let Fox understand that what he was doing mattered. "My opinion is that Terry Fox is the greatest Canadian ever. What he did is untouchable." And Sittler has had a part in every annual Fox run since.
"We all have an opportunity to give back," Sittler said, again at that Hall of Fame presser this past winter. "You can sit on the sidelines and do nothing or you can get involved. And when you get involved, it's amazing what comes back to you."
Dave Perkins was born Midland, Ont, in 1953. Dave moved to Toronto 1958, so he actually well remembers both the baseball Maple Leafs and when the hockey Maple Leafs did things like win Stanley Cups. Dave attended Ryerson Journalism and began working at Globe and Mail in 1973. In the summer of 1977 he moved to The Toronto Star, possibly in part because the Star softball team needed a right-handed hitting catcher. He began covering baseball full time in 1985 and was made baseball columnist in 1989, then sports editor from the end of 1993 until middle of 1996, at which point he became general sports columnist.
Over the years, assignments have included 10 Olympic Games, 55 (and counting) golf major championships, a couple of dozen World Series and Super Bowls, many NHL, NBA playoffs and Grey Cups. Dave took over the Sportsman's Corner of The Star Santa Claus Fund in 2001 from an ailing (at the time) Jim Proudfoot. Renamed it Proudfoot Corner on his death and has raised more than $1 million in his name for kids' Christmas gift boxes, strictly on donations from readers. Dave retired from The Toronto Star in 2010, but continues to write a weekly column on freelance/contract basis. Dave married Debra Hanna in 1988 and has a 17 year old son named Allan.