The Darien Old Timers Athletic Association will hold its 55th annual Sports Award Dinner on Monday, Nov. 7 at 6:15 p.m. at The Water’s Edge at Giovanni’s.
The purpose of this very popular dinner is to recognize the accomplishments of Darien athletes, coaches and other individuals who support the opportunity for athletics to be part of the educational and community experience in Darien and to raise funds to provide scholarships for Darien High School student-athletes and monetary support to other local programs that have a need.
It is also a time to meet with old friends and to reminisce about days gone by.
The Honorees this year include Andy Danver, Harvey Thomas, Fran Forte, Marj Trifone, Rob Trifone and The Sugar Bowl—owned by Robert Mazza and Grace Wohlberg.
Andy Danver is a local honoree who was a former star Darien High School athlete, his 100 and 200 yard dash records still stand. He played varsity football, basketball and track and field at DHS, and football at Dartmouth College. Following college, he enjoyed a successful business career in sales and consulting at Hewlett-Packard and Hewlett Packard Global. Andy is still active playing golf and volunteering in his community in California.
Harvey Thomas is a local honoree who was a former DHS track and field star, who, with Andy Danver, helped Darien win the 1963 CT state track and field championship. He went on to excel at Harvard in track and field. Following receiving his Harvard degrees, Harvey was in the consulting and paper business. He is an active youth coach and community volunteer in Greenwich, CT, and enjoys squash, tennis and boating.
Fran Forte is a local honoree who was an outstanding ice hockey and baseball player at DHS, making a shift to competitive fast pitch softball while in college and later into competitive slow pitch softball, a sport in which he still participates at a highly competitive level. He is a well-educated and highly honored mechanical engineer who served the country well at AT&T/Lucent Bell Labs where he participated in a number of very important Research and Development programs.
Marj Trifone is the Female Achievement honoree, who is the head coach of the 2015 DHS State girls swimming champions, as well as the head coach of the perennial champion Middlesex Swim Club. Under her leadership, DHS has won 14 state girls swimming championships, been runners-up twice, and won three state open girls swimming championships. Marge has been named Coach of the Year eight times from national, state, local and regional organizations. She is a graduate of DHS (class of 1981) and Springfield College (BS & MS - 1985 & 1987), and is a DHS Health and Physical Education Teacher.
Rob Trifone is the Male Achievement honoree who is the head coach of the 2015 DHS state football (Class LL) champions. Rob has coached at DHS for 17 years and has compiled a 207-81-2 record (71% winning percentage). Under his leadership, DHS has won seven divisional championships, five FCIAC championships, two state championships and have been state finalists three times. Rob has been named Coach of the Year 13 times from national, state, local and other organizations. He is a graduate of Andrew Warde High School in Fairfield (class of 1973), Central CT State University (BA, Magna Cum Laude class of 1978) and Southern CT State University (class of 1980 - MA), and is a DHS Biology/Marine Biology Teacher.
The Sugar Bowl is this year’s Community Civic Award honoree. It is also Darien’s iconic eatery that has been serving the community and its residents with good old-fashioned comfort food for almost 70 years. People flock to the Darien landmark to find good conversation and good food in a casual setting. The décor changes with every holiday. It is run by Bobby Mazza, who sets an example for Darien retailers in appearance, service, charm and supporting the community. Bobby’s pride in owning a business in Darien is evident. Generations of Darien families have enjoyed the food, conversation and fun at the Sugar Bowl.
Grace Wohlberg is the James Carlson Achievement Award honoree. Grace has been the manager of the Blue Wave swimming and diving team since her freshman year. Grace was a talented swimmer until the age of 10 when she was diagnosed with a rare epilepsy syndrome. Grace endured a serious surgery and years of therapy. Her therapy has allowed Grace to take a full course load at the high school. She actively supports all DHS sports but her main focus is being manager of the swimming and diving team. Under the guidance of Coach Marj Trifone, Grace has returned to the pool and loves to swim but due to her surgery she can only utilize one arm. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference selected Grace to receive the 2016 Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award.
Tickets are available for $70 per person or tables for 10 for $700 by calling Harold Curtis at 203-655-7073, Greg Palmer at Palmer’s Market at 203-655-2077, Bill Peters at 203-536-1455 or Joe Warren at 203-940-3286.