The Dave Fleming Volunteer Spirit Award was initiated in 1999 by the OTLBC Board and Tennis Executive. Named after Dave Fleming to honor his long-standing volunteer contributions to the Club, this award is presented every two years to an OTLBC member who embodies the spirit of volunteerism at the club. This special award recognizes the significant and long-term contributions of an individual who consistently demonstrates enthusiastic support for the Club’s traditions and values through his or her volunteer efforts. Nominations are submitted by fellow members to a panel of reviewers, including Dave Fleming, a past award recipient, the club manager and representatives from the Board and Tennis Executive.
Attitude: The nominee treats members and staff equally and with respect, willingly volunteers for a range of activities, is responsive and enthusiastic, shows a genuine desire to make the Club members’ experience enjoyable, supports and respects the Club’s traditions and values.
Long-term Commitment: The nominee has contributed service and support to Club activities and initiatives consistently over a minimum of 3-5 years.
Impact: This person provides ‘value-added’ support to the Club, goes beyond expected responsibilities, contributes to a range of activities, helps out where needed and demonstrates initiative.
Congratulations to Sue Widyaratne, the 2015 Dave Fleming Volunteer Spirit Award Winner
Sue was recognized for initiating and chairing the club’s Fundraising Committee and leading successful fundraising efforts from 2009-13. A member since 1994, she was also the New Member Chair of the Tennis Executive (2005-06), and was a member of the Board of Directors (2011-14).
She and her committee created a plan and a template for a major annual fundraising event to support the club’s Capital Improvements Fund. During her tenure as Chair of the committee, the group organized four very successful events (Casino Royale, Fiesta Latina, Summer Sizzler and Blame it on Rio). Along with associated fundraising initiatives, over $43,000 in cash contributions, and an additional $21,000 in in-kind contributions was raised during that period.
She also developed the club’s Sponsorship Policy that sets out the entitlements and fees associated with sponsorship opportunities for Sustaining Partners, fundraising event partners and tournament sponsors. This led to additional sponsorship revenue raised to support the capital fund. By the end of her tenure as Chair of the committee, nearly $51,000 in cash had been allocated to the capital fund.
Sue also prepared the club’s Policy on Donations and Recognition, which outlines the types of additional donations that can be accepted by the club (including planned or legacy gifts, interest free loans, gifts-in-kind, etc), and provides guidance on communicating with donors, and publicly recognizing contributions.
Her commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the OTLBC through her voluntary contributions are exemplary and is a worthy recipient of the Dave Fleming Volunteer Spirit Award.
Shawn Barker (2013) – Shawn was recognized for his significant contributions to junior tennis as NCTA interclub captain, his role in club management and governance through his participation in the TE (2007 – 2010 – two years as President) and Board (2008-2011) and his technical contributions as informal IT manager which includes managing the website for several years, integrating a secure on-line financial transaction system with the web (updated again in 2013), transitioning the club’s email system to @otlbc.com domain, and developing the layout and managing the distribution of the electronic newsletter for several years. His technical acumen and talents alone have saved the club much money in IT support costs over the years
Stan Goldberg (2011) – A member since 2000, Stan was recognized for his longstanding contributions to the daytime members of the Club including serving as Vice President of the Tennis Executive in 2005 and filling in as the Daytime Chair for two years. He has been instrumental in coordinating the daytime mixed round robin for nine years and under his leadership, this round robin has grown into one of the Club’s most popular daytime activities. Stan has also fostered an environment of friendship that has led to the creation of two other regular doubles’ groups on Mondays and Wednesdays. He also initiated two, now-annual, events: the Closing Luncheon at the Club for Mixed round robin players and the Fall breakfast at Perkins restaurant.
Don Armstrong (2009) – A member since 1974, Don was recognized for his varied and longstanding contributions to the club including, as Vice President in 1980, chairing the constitutional committee which created the Tennis Club Constitution, constructing the historical display for the Club’s 1981 centennial celebration, running the Masson Cup tennis tournament from 1996-2004, his role as Playing Chair of the Tennis Executive from 2004-2007, running the Sunday night men’s doubles league since 2000, and his commitment to running the tennis ladders since 2004.
Don Shropshire (2007) – Don was recognized for his significant contributions to the Tennis Executive in 1998 and 1999 and his service on the OTLBC Board from 2000-2008. During his tenure as President and Past President of the Board, he led a strategic planning initiative to assist the club in determining the best avenue for achieving the long-term sustainability of the club.
David Rhynas (2005) – David served on both the Tennis Executive (Secretary in 1998, 1999, President in 2001, Past President in 2002) and the Board of Directors (President in 2006, 2007, Past President in 2008). His accomplishments as President include the reconstruction of courts 5 through 12, helping organize the Club’s 125th anniversary celebrations, and modernizing the tennis dress code. David also demonstrated a huge commitment to junior development by bringing the U14 Canadian Nationals to the OTLBC for three years (2002-2004), acting as Tournament Chair in 2002 and Co-Chair in 2004.
Nick Coomber (2003) – Our resident gardener, Nick has been tending the OTLBC gardens for more years than is polite to mention. His commitment to ensuring a lovely floral and perennial gardens surrounding the courts and at the outside entrance – remain evident for all to see. He served on the Tennis Executive in various roles from 1978 to 1981, was Chair of the Centennial Committee in 1981, President of the Tennis Executive in 1982 and President of the Board of Directors from 1999 to 2001.
Laval Fournier (2001) – Laval received the Award in recognition of his tremendous contribution to new members by initiating and running the new member round robins – a critical playing activity to integrate new members at the club. These round robins remain an important activity at the club today even though Laval has handed the reigns over to others.
Karen Baker (1999) – Karen’s role as enthusiastic and creative party planner during her many years as Social Chair were the inspiration for recognizing her with this Award. She has served in various capacities on the Board and Tennis Executive for over ten years and also planned the successful celebrations of the Club’s 125th anniversary.