On the evening of April 29, 2023, the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame continued to fulfill its mandate to preserve, promote, and celebrate the history of sports in our community when we staged our 25th Induction Gala.
An audience of 175 guests attended the event at Royal Ashburn Golf Club, during which the Hall recognized three new members, all in the Athlete category: Pricilla Lopes-Schliep (track and field), Derek Suddons (lacrosse), and Adrian Woodley (track and field).
Priscilla, Derek, and Adrian gave exceptional acceptance speeches, each citing the family members, coaches, teammates, and team staff who provided the unwavering support and encouragement that help propel and motivate these inductees to their individual and team accomplishments. They also noted the importance of commitment, discipline, practice, and perseverance in attaining and exceeding their goals, which further established them as role models for young athletes of today and tomorrow.
The Hall of Fame committee also took the opportunity recognize several past inductees who were in the audience that evening, including Sandy Air, a member of the 1958 Whitby Dunlops world championship hockey team and an inaugural inductee of the Hall in 1998. Additionally, two local student athletes were introduced and recognized for their success to date: April Lantaigne (soccer), currently training with Team Canada for the 2023 U-17 World Cup, and Kaileb McCaughey (karate), who is ranked #1 overall in Karate Ontario’s point standings.
Our keynote speaker for the Gala was Brittany MacLean, Olympic Bronze Medalist, Rio 2016. Brittany spoke of the importance of believing in yourself and your abilities, as well as relying on the support of teammates and coaches to realize one’s dreams in sports.
The evening included a spirited live auction and a multi-faceted silent auction, along with a surprise presentation to every attendee (of legal drinking age); a commemorative label beer can, created by the Brock Street Brewing Company. This unique limited-edition can was designed to honour and celebrate the Class of 2023 and to highlight the Hall’s 25th Induction Gala; we acknowledge the brewery, in particular co-owners Chris Vanclief and Mark Woitzik, for creating this label and for their long-standing support of the Hall of Fame and our inductees.
The Whitby Sports Hall of Fame committee expresses sincere thanks to all friends of the Hall who attended the 2023 Gala, as well as our Corporate Partners, Gala Sponsors, and numerous advertisers and auction item donors for their generous and continued support of our efforts.