By Keith Lacey
Two NHL stars and a world-class cyclist are the nominees for the Professional Sportsperson of the Year at the upcoming 2002 Kinsmen Sports Celebrity Dinner.
Todd Bertuzzi, who had a career year with the Vancouver Canucks, Andrew Brunette, who led the Minnesota Wild in scoring, and Eric Wahlberg, an Olympian and national team cyclist, are the three nominees in the prestigious professional sportsperson category.
Nominees for the top amateur female are track and field star Sarah Junkin, Laurentian Lady Vees basketball star Claire Beatty and marathon runner Karen Cowling. Junkin is one of Northern OntarioÂ?s best young track and field athletes. Beatty was an All-Canadian and one of the best players in Ontario this past season. Cowling is one of CanadaÂ?s top female long distance runners.
Nominees for the top amateur male include power tumbler and gymnast Denis Vachon, soccer and track and field star Dylan Petrin and world-class figure skater Jeffrey Buttle.
Vachon qualified for the national championships in tumbling and is a national-calibre gymnast. Petrin plays numerous sports and excels in all of them, including soccer and track and field. Buttle finished second at the Canadian National Figure Skating Championships and competed at the world championships.
Nominees for the Team of the Year include the Tim Phillips curling rink, the Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats and the Jessie Winters AA Storm Hockey Team.
The Phillips rink captured the Northern Ontario title and competed at The Brier for the second time in three years.
The Sabrecats captured their seventh consecutive Northern Ontario Junior A Hockey League title and qualified for the Royal Bank Cup national championship tournament for the third time in the past five years. The Storm hockey club captured the All-Ontario title in their peewee division.
Nominees for the Bill Roman Administration Award include Laurentian menÂ?s basketball coach John Campbell, Sabrecats coach Ken MacKenzie, equestrian coach and Northern LifeÂ?s Coach of the Year Ingrid Mackin and hockey coach Ken Creasey.
All of the nominees are expected to be in attendance when 33rd Annual Sudbury Kinsmen Sports Celebrity Dinner takes place on Wednesday, June 12 at the Caruso Club.
Inducted into the hall of fame will be former NHLer Gerry Foley; Gerry McCrory, who has been a volunteer with the Sudbury Minor Hockey Association for 35 years; Mary Woitowich, a longtime vocal supporter and promoter of the Special Olympics; former Sudbury Star sports editor Peter Desilets; Ricki Gougeon, who has sponsored and supported various minor sports for decades; and Tepper Caverson, the longtime Molson beer representative, who has also supported and sponsored minor sports in this community for many years.
The event is a big fundraiser for SudburyÂ?s House of Kin, the South End hotel where family members of sick children get to stay for a vastly reduced cost while in Sudbury.
Joe Drago, a former owner of the Sudbury Wolves, retired commissioner of the Northern Ontario Junior A Hockey League and longtime minor sports supporter, will act as Master of Ceremonies for this yearÂ?s event.
Special guest will be legendary hockey coach Brian Â?KillerÂ? Kilrea, the head coach of the Ontario Hockey LeagueÂ?s Ottawa 67s. Kilrea is the winningest coach in Canadian major junior hockey history.
Tickets for this yearÂ?s dinner are $30 apiece or $275 for a table of eight. Tickets can be purchased at the front desk of the House of Kin, located at 1895 Regent St. Phone 522-3600. Tickets can be ordered over the phone by Visa or Mastercard.