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(AYF) – The 2012 American Youth Football and Cheer National Championships featured non-stop action, and was a spectacular success on all levels, giving young players a chance to shine under the hot Florida sun.
The focus was on young athletes as they competed for a title, but on Wednesday night it shifted to the coaches and administrators for the 2012 AYF Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
To be honored, one must have 25 years or more of service to youth in the community, and the 2012 class features men and women devoted to giving back.
“A major portion of their lives have been dedicated to service to our youth,” said Joe Galat. “The most impressive thing I hear from each and every one of them is ‘I receive more out of this than I give,’ and that shows their extreme love for what they do.”
The 2012 AYF Hall of Fame inductees include Comido Smith, Deb Smith, George Reily, Anthony “Pops” Vieira, Timothy Kanavel, Freddy Saldana, William Tandy, Orlando Gudes and the man with the most years of service in this class, Jim Brown. Jim runs the Naperville, Illinois team, one of the largest in AYF and wrote the book, “More Than a Game: a Vehicle for Child Development.”
The night was memorable for the inductees, but the surprise event of the night was when Desert Pacific Region, Southeast Region and New England Region/Central Mass presented checks to Joe Galat, to be donated to children left homeless after Hurricane Sandy.
A night of emotion and a night of honor. Congratulations to all of the 2012 Hall of Fame inductees. You’ve earned the right to be awarded the highest honor AYF can bestow upon you.