Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Dinner

This past Monday, The Philadelphia Sports Writers Association held their 107th Annual Award Dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, NJ. The event featured numerous awards handed out by the PSWA to deserving individuals from both the worlds of college and professional sports. Honorees included 76ers F Elton Brand (Good Guy Award), Phillies Ace Roy Halladay (Sportsperson of the Year), Phillies CF Shane Victorino (Humanitarian Award) and Ian Laperriere accepting the Best Team award on behalf of the Flyers. Also in attendance was Phillies GM Ruben Amaro. The evening also included honorees from Lasalle, Temple, Philadelphia University, University of Pennsylvania and other colleges in the area.

The night had many admirable awards including Matt Hoffman of Rowan University who won an award for saving the life of a young child by donating bone marrow to the young man. Hoffman’s story resonated with many in attendance and Hoffman’s achievements were spoken about numerous times including during Charlie Manuel’s speech when he talked about how honored he was to have met Matt Hoffman. Another amazing award was handed out to Mark Herzlich who took home the Most Courageous Athlete Award for overcoming cancer to eventually return to play his final season at Boston College. Herzlich said that battling cancer was not courageous in his eyes because he had to do it, otherwise he would not have made it.

The night also had many lighthearted moments. The funniest speaker of the night was certainly a toss-up between Phillies Skipper Charlie Manuel and Comedian Joe Conklin. Both took to the stage with the intent to make people laugh and both succeeded. Manuel ironically referred to himself as the “best speaker” of the night which brought the crowd to a rousing laugh. Conklin utilized his trademark impressions which included Charlie Manuel, Cole Hamels, Dan Baker, Merrill Reese, Mike Quick, Andy Reid, Bill Bergey, and Allen Iverson. Both did a wonderful job of entertaining the crowd.

Just as a side note to this article. I have to thank the PSWA for awarding me the Richie Ashburn Scholarship, which was the reason that I was in attendance Monday night. It was truly an honor to receive an award that contains the name of one of the most legendary figures in the history of Philadelphia Sports. I once again want to thank the PSWA and the Ashburn family for this honor.

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