Congratulations to Our Ontario Volunteer Service Award Recipients!


Tuesday night nine of our volunteers were recognized for their commitment to the league and the children of our community over the years. Originally nominated for recognition in 2020, the awards ceremonies never happened last year. The province has elected to hold virtual presentations around the province to recognize the many volunteers, and the one for our area kicked off the process tonight. This year province wide 6700 volunteers will be recognized, representing 82,377 YEARS of volunteering. Here are our volunteers that were recognized tonight:

WALTER DACOSTA – Long a steadying force on the league executive, Walter was recognized tonight for his 20 years of volunteering since his return to the city in 2000. Walter has been league President, a referee, co-convenor, coach, and the person you can always turn to for sound council.

RYAN VIVIAN – A former player, Ryan has been an enthusiastic coach and volunteer with us for ten years now, and shows no indication of slowing down, with his son Ashton set to join us next season, and Avery still able to play. Ryan is always willing to do what ever is asked for special events and loves being around the League.

LUCY AND MARTIN HARRIS – We chose not to split up this recognition because any one that has see Lucy and Martin patrolling the sidelines for the Mustangs in the Little Guys Division the last five years knows what a great and enthusiastic pair they are in making their players better and helping them understand how much fun the game can be. Lucy is also a former player, who coached while in high school, and also was a member of our executive for several years. We hope that both of them will be able to stay with us for many more years.

KELLY DAVISON – Kelly is another of our former players that came back to coach and is doing a great job making a difference with her players. She knows the game, and her enthusiasm on the bench translates into passionate play from her players too! We are lucky to have Kelly helping continue to make the league a special place.

COREY YOUNG – The quiet coach and leader of the Slammers in the Little Gals Division, Corey is also a volunteer behind the canteen counter on Wednesday and Thursday nights along with the rest of his family. He is always willing to help out with special events and his “do what needs to be done” approach is invaluable to us.

CALISTA PAYNE – One of our three youth volunteers, Calista has been helping since she was tall enough to see over the scorekeepers desk, and strong enough to turn on the clock. Along with the scorekeeping duties, Calsita also has moved on to be an assistant coach, videographer and music supplier for special events. A mainstay for banquet openings, she plays many roles in the league and we hope she continues to be involved in the years to come.

JULIANA SARGENT– The second of our three youth volunteers, Juliana is also a former player that has come back to volunteer as a coach. referee, timer, scorekeeper and recently has assumed several duties to assist the Girls Division convenors. Julians is enthusiastic and is well liked by her players and fellow coaches on Wednesday night.

GRADY IRWIN – The last of our three youth volunteers, he is by no means the least of them. Grady’s commitment to helping in the Little Guys Division has grown ever since he asked if he could keep score. His talent for doing that has grown into being a referee for the Tuesday night games, and for the last two seasons he has been an assistant coach with Rob O’Grady as well. His passion for basketball is infectious and it is certainly our hope that Grady continues to be a part of what our league has come to represent.

As disappointing as it was to not be able to share this recognition event with all of these volunteers and the many other area volunteers tonight, their contribution to the success of our program is in no way diminished. We are VERY proud to have these nine people be a part of what we are – to be part of the fabric that continues to hold the dream of Don Petersen alive – To provide a safe place where the children of the community can learn the game of basketball in an atmosphere where games are played “Just For The Fun Of It”.

Our thanks to all of you – and our heart felt CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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Dine and Make a Difference For Them Continues

The next stop on the Dine and Make a Difference For Them events will be “Coffee Way Week” March 22-27 where we hope you will stop in for a take out drink and some of the most delicious fresh baked donuts and goodies in the city. Kris has been a supporter of what we do for many years, supplying donuts for special events, and sponsoring the Player of the Week Awards in the Biddy and Girls Divisions for the past five seasons, and adding the Graduate Division as well the last time we played. Every Player of The Week received a donut and drink from Coffee Way in recognition of their award. Now for the math. Last season alone, that was 22 awards every week, 396 for the season. Since he started supporting us in this way, Kris has donated 1548 Player of the Week “packages” to our players, along with his donations for special events. That is well worth a special Dine and Make a Difference For Them special event, and if that wasn’t enough to convince you, have a look at the photos on our Facebook page.

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Dine and Make a Difference For Them

Our second Dine and Make a Difference For Them events will be at Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Gardiners Road March 17 and 18. This is where our last “in person” Dine and Make a Difference event was held last March just days before we all went into lock down part one. On March 17 if corned beef and cabbage is not to your liking, enjoy the best burgers in town, and on March 18 you can celebrate the start of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament while helping a restaurant that helps us!
We will publish a menu in the days ahead and as of now, they are open for take out only and you can also get delivery of your food through Skip the Dishes. All of the restaurants that we are featuring in the weeks ahead have been staunch supporters of what we do through their commitment to help with fund raising, and the lockdowns have been hard on all of them.
We know too that the pandemic has been hard on our league families too, and not everyone will be able to help us in this event, but we hope that those that can will help make a difference with this business that helps us.

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Dine and Make a Difference For Them

In the last few years several local restaurants have participated with us in Dine to Donate and Dine to Make a Difference events. With the COVID 19 pandemic, those restaurants have had to make significant adjustments and reductions to what they have been able to offer customers. With that in mind, we in the basketball league have decided that this is an opportunity to do something to help them. Not for any benefit to us, but to ask you as our league families and followers to help us say thanks to them for being such an important part of our league family.

We also are fully aware that this last year has not been easy for many of you too, and we understand that not everyone will be able to participate in all of these events, but if you can, we hope you will.

Over the next several months we will be working with the restaurants that have helped us, to set up Dine and Make a Difference for Them dates for us to support those businesses with food orders on the days we identify for each.

We would like to start with the Pilot House on Wednesday and Thursday, February 24th and 25th, and follow that up in the coming months with dates for Five Guys Burgers and Fries, East Side Mario’s on Weller Avenue, Jack Astor’s, TaTa’s Pizzeria on Princess Street, Coffee Way and McDonald’s. All of them have made a difference for our program, and we hope you will help us help them when they need it.

We will publish details of the menu of each restaurant, and their hours of operation in the days leading up to our dates with them. Please join us in helping make a difference in the community we all share.

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Merry Christmas!

As I was looking through old photos from the league for photos from Christmas, I instead kept seeing photos of friends and families that I want to share with you today. I wrote to someone earlier today that this year I have come to appreciate more the special bond that sports has in bringing families of many generations together. Let’s hope that 2021 sees a return of that opportunity for our league family, and that it comes with a realization of how precious and fragile what we have shared together truly is. Until that happens, stay well, stay healthy, and most of all be happy. Merry Christmas, and please savour all the magic that this time of year has to offer. For more photos from this collection please visit our Facebook page.RB

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National Coaches Week

September 19-27 is National Coaches Week in Canada. Even though they are not on the sidelines this season, we want to thank the hundreds of coaches that have made such a great and positive impact on our players lives in our 66 year history. Don Petersen got it started, and you keep the learning going every year since!

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Countdown to Registration 2021

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Congratulations Calista Payne!

We have been asked to share the following by the Family of Don Petersen

“Congratulations Calista Payne, solo entry and winner of the 2020 Pete Petersen Spirit Memorial Award. Even in our current crazy times the league may be on hold but Pete’s spirit, passion and the desire to help people still plays on through the hearts of those exposed to this unique basketball league.
This years winner of the Don Pete Petersen Spirit Memorial Award is Calista Payne, a coach, helper, and former player in the Girls division. Presenting this award is Hilda Walker, Pete’s sister, and proud grandmother of Calista Payne. Your great Uncle Pete would be so proud of your accomplishments Calista!
Calista has chosen to study at the University of Ottawa pursing a teaching career.
Good Luck to you Calista, we love you!”

NOTE: Presentation photos are available on the Pete Petersen Spirit Memorial Award Facebook page.

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League Face Masks

We have designed a league face mask for those that may want to support our program while also keeping yourself and those around you safe during this global health crisis. We have a limited number of the masks shown below in adult and youth sizes to gauge interest before we order more. Cost is $15 per mask and pick up can be arranged by messaging us through Facebook or the web site.

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Uniforms

This week we collected and washed all of the uniforms from St. Francis of Assisi so that when we start up again in 2021, the uniforms will be ready to go. Our thanks to Susan, Brenda, Nancy, Mary, Nora and the Students in Pearl’s house for your help in getting 400 uniforms washed and line dried. Your support is appreciated!

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