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2015 Awards Gala Recap by Jason Buckner

We’ve all experienced that feeling of the predawn run, watching the sun rise and breathing life into the day. How about that run after work, just as the moon is rising and the world is settling down? It’s magical.

That’s where this year’s gala was born.

The evening started with a time warp from bright daylight to the dimmed lights of the South San Francisco Conference Center. Glowing flowers and lighted balloons adorned the centerpieces while guests made glow-in-the-dark necklaces, bracelets, and all sorts of creative decorations.

Photos from the year were playing on the big screen and music serenaded the runners during cocktail hour, many of whom rarely see each other wearing anything except tech-clothes. “So this is what you look like in regular clothes!” was heard more than once.

Snoop Kitty and the Meows opened the show and MC Tony Nguyen introduced the crowd to our outgoing president, George Sacco. After some short remarks and thanking the 2014 Board, he introduced the club to its first female president, Kitzzy Aviles. She then presented George with the presidential clock plaque, said a few words, and introduced the 2015 Board.

The evening then moved into the awards ceremony where we got a chance to recognize all of the amazing accomplishments that have been achieved throughout the club: Small Mongos for those volunteering members that have run over 250 miles, Large Mongos for those that ran over 750 miles, and the kids of the club who get the biggest trophies of them all!

Janet Nissenson recognized all of the age group winners and Barbara Robben presented the Eco Award, with special recognition to Vince French. Kevin Lee presented the RRCA Volunteer Award to Mary Gray, Denise Leo, and Chikara Omine. This award is earned over many years of volunteerism by contributing over 2000 hours to the club!

Vince French passed on the Walt Stack Award to Denise Leo for going beyond the call of duty in volunteering for the club, including the majority of the Thursday Evening Summer Series and the finish line of many Sunday races. She is the Race Results Coordinator and makes sure her team gets results handled smoothly and swiftly.

George Sacco presented the DSE Lifetime Service Award to Jane Coleman for her longtime service and dedication to DSE. Like many club volunteers, she began as a runner, then volunteered at the races, moved up and served as a Race Director and volunteered at the Double Dipsea. Although she has never held a club officer position, she has anchored two key coordinator positions for the past 15 years: Membership Coordinator and Newsletter Editor.

Mary Gray and Jason Buckner ended the award ceremony with the Top Five Awards for Volunteerism, Race Attendance, Race Place, Race Miles, and Total miles.

At the conclusion of the presentation, we had a grand prize drawing for a weekend stay in the penthouse of the San Remo hotel and a showing of a wrap up video from The Relay, one of the club’s big yearly events. This was followed by music and dancing, something that our club members are exceedingly good at.

We hope to see you next year!

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