Below is what a Masters Games Board Member read at the Banquet when announcing the 2013 Masters Games Hall of Fame Award Winners.  Click on winners below if you would like to skip straight to specific winners.

All Star Awards
           Dist. 1 - Ollie Michaels of Tuscumbia

           Dist. 2 - Ron Altergott of Athens
           Dist. 4 - Thomas and Thelma Hinton of Lincoln
           Dist. 6 - Elaine Blake of Wedowee
           Dist. 8 - Dorothy Brackin of Rose Hill
           Dist. 9 - Robert Lloyd of Prattville

Golden Alumni Awards
           Dist. 6 - Jane Farrar of Lanett
           Dist. 4 - Olawhatti Borden of Jacksonville
           Dist. 9 - Jessie Hill Wright of Tuskegee

President’s Award
           Dist. 9 - John Parris of Montgomery

The District 1 “All Stars Award” goes to Ollie Michaels.  She is from Muscle Shoals and attends the Muscle Shoals Living Center. When she’s not at the center, she is out volunteering to deliver Meals on Wheels for Church, playing cards with her many friends, or helping a friend out with a problem. She has also proudly served in the United States Army. Even though she has known heartache through losing a son and losing her husband 11 years ago, she still has a smile and a good word for anyone around her.  Ollie,  not being one to sit around feeling sorry for herself, decided to join the Masters Games the year following her husband’s death and has participated ever since.
During the 10 years Ollie has participated in the Masters Games, she as accumulated 27 medals in her favorite events of basketball free throw, horseshoes, shuffleboard, rook, dominoes, softball throw and the Fun Walk.  She is one of the first in her center to start practicing and she encourages others to join in the fun of the Games. To Ollie, it doesn’t matter if she wins or loses, she is there for the enjoyment of competing and the fellowship she enjoys with other seniors. This makes the trip worthwhile. 
All of her friends agree, Ollie Michaels is a person worth knowing.  It is an honor to present Ollie Michaels with the All Stars Award for District 1 and induct her into the All Stars Hall of Fame.

The “All Star Award” from District 2 goes to Ron Altergott.  Sometimes, in the distance you can hear a distinct roar at the district or state Masters Games.  More than likely this is Ron Altergott pulling up to the games riding his Harley Motorcycle, a 2007 “Fat Boy Cruiser”.   Ron, who stands at a mere 6 feet and 5 inches and is a resident of Limestone County in the Clements community, also served as a combat medic in the U. S. Army while stationed in Vietnam during 1967. 
Ron has won 18 state medals during the past 5 years competing in events of rook, dominoes, checkers, horseshoes, softball, table tennis, billiards, swimming, shuffleboard, nerfball and frisbee throw. Aside from his medals, what makes Ron stand out more is that he is a great, well rounded man who possesses characteristics of compassion, respect, trustworthiness, and generosity toward everyone he comes in contact with.  Ron is always lending a helping hand in setting up games and assisting during the games.
In the first year Ron competed in the state games, he remembers a special moment of inspiration he gained from watching a gentleman in his 80’s competing in the swimming events.  Ron remembers, “We all felt and shared in his joy”!  Since that first year, he will tell you how the best part of the Masters Games is re-visiting with the friends he has made over the years at the games and how the fun comes from playing the games, not necessarily winning the medals.  When asked how he felt about the Masters Games, Ron sums it up very well:  “These games are good for everyone – there’s something for everyone to do – including revisiting with old friends and making new ones, laughing together, sharing together, and helping along the way!”
It is an honor to present Mr. Ron Altergott with the All Stars Award for District 2 and induct him into the All Stars Hall of Fame.

The “All Stars Award” for District 4 goes to Thomas and Thelma Hinton.  Reaching for the 'Stars' is a goal and an accomplishment that Thomas and Thelma Hinton have achieved together in various aspects of their lives.  Not only has the Lincoln, AL, couple been married for 57 years, surpassing their Golden years and definitely reaching an all-star mark in marriage, they have also competed in the Masters Games of Alabama for over 9 years and have won a combined total of 28 gold medals.

Before we hear more about Thomas and Thelma, it is with saddened hearts that we inform you that Mr. Hinton passed away in late September.   We will all miss him dearly.  Let us keep Thelma in our thoughts and remember Thomas with smiles on our faces as we hear more about him.

Just last year, the couple, in their early-80s', won a total of 15 medals bringing their total State medal counts to 28 Gold, 16 Silver, 9 Bronze, and 16 Fun Walk Medals.  Together, the precious couple, who is always smiling, competes in the 80-84 age groups and enjoys competing in the older age groups.  As Thelma says, "The older you get the more medals you get."
Even though their District Games don't have a lot of competition for the age group of their events, the couple doesn't let that obstacle slow them down. There have been many times that they have been asked to play someone 20 or more years younger than them because those people had no competition in their age group and really wanted to play. And always exhibiting the Golden rule, apparently in everything they do, the couple always smiles and says, 'sure', treating others just like they would want to be treated.

The younger players that play against them often say 'Thank you for having them play me, because they were really nice and helpful in helping me to understand the rules.'
Even though the Hinton's illustrate the perfect Golden couple, they are also a great example of All Star individuals - who strive to be the very best in everything they do on their own as well as a couple.
An example can be seen in the fact that Thomas won Gold in Checkers each year he has competed and Thelma has earned a solid reputation for being a tough competitor in Table Tennis and Shuffleboard.   Several of Thelma's competitors through the years have commented after playing her in both events that 'She is good and really hard to beat."
While the competition and opportunity might appear to be the motivational tool behind the couples' annual involvement in the Masters Games, it is also apparent that it is the fellowships and friendships made that actually make the events even more meaningful for them.  Thelma said, "I have thoroughly enjoyed going different places and meeting the different people from different places.  For me, it has been something to look forward to each year."
These are just a few of the reasons that the couple was selected to receive the All-Star Award.  It is an honor to present the District 4 All Stars Award to Thomas and Thelma Hinton and induct them into the All Stars Hall of Fame.
Today we have reason to celebrate because today is Thelma’s birthday.  Join me in wishing Thelma a happy birthday.  Happy Birthday, Thelma! 

The “All Stars Award” for District 6 goes to Elaine Blake.  Elaine was hired by the City of Wedowee to run the Senior Center in March, 2007.  From the first day on the job, Elaine brought her enthusiasm for life and having fun every day.  Elaine is always encouraging her clients to try new activities, to tackle new projects and to go to new and exciting places. 
Elaine was responsible for re-igniting the fire for the Masters Games of Alabama in Wedowee and getting the seniors involved in the district and state games again.  With previous experience in marketing and management, Elaine is able to coordinate with other senior groups to ensure that the Wedowee seniors have opportunities for “practice competition” that help them hone their competitive skills and also finds ways to provide assistance with travel costs.  Elaine has also volunteered her expertise in officiating table games to other Masters Games districts.   
Two things you never ask a woman: “When you born ?” and “ How many medals have you won at Masters Games?”  Elaine will probably never tell anyone the answer to either but we know that she probably has won enough that, when put end to end, would be taller than she is!  
It is with great joy that we award Elaine Blake with the District 6 All Stars Award and induct her into the All Stars Hall of Fame.

The District 8 “All Stars Award” goes to Dorothy Brackin.  She has been attending the Masters Games of Alabama for seven years.  During those 7 years she has participated in dominoes, bowling, shuffleboard, horseshoes, softball throw, table tennis, frisbee & nerf ball, and walking.  She has medals in many of these events at the State level with 4 gold, 3 silver, and 5 bronze medals for a total of 12 medals.  She has 7 medals for walking as well.
Dorothy, who is now 86, has always felt that participating in the Masters Games gave her the opportunity to meet other people who are older than her and in better physical condition. This gave her the drive to keep working at being fit. She attended aerobics classes 3 times a week, bowled on a team, and tended her 3 acre lawn, including the weed eating.
In February, she fractured a hip during aerobics and during the hip replacement, was diagnosed with stage 4 bone, liver, and lymph node cancer. Without chemo she would only have weeks to live. Her oncologist, internist, and orthopedic doctor all met and agreed that she was an 85 year old with a 50 year old body and advised her as they would a 50 year old….. To go for it!   Now, after 6 months, she is attending Aquacise 3 times a week, and walks a mile or two each day.  
So the impact the Masters Games has had on her life is to give her the drive to keep working at being fit, which is in turn giving her the ability to fight cancer while recovering from a hip fracture!
It is with great honor that we award Ms. Dorothy Brackin the District 8 All Stars Award and induct her into the All Stars Hall of Fame.

The “All Stars Award” for District 9 goes to Robert Lloyd.  Mr. Lloyd is one of District 9’s all-time favorite participants.   He has participated in bowling, golf and shuffleboard since the Masters Games first began.  He has been a winner every year in every event.  He laughingly says it is because there is no competition in his age category, but while there may be some truth to that at the District level, that is certainly not the real reason for his victories.  Mr. Lloyd is an accomplished athlete in these events on the state level also, where there is plenty of competition.  This is evidenced by the numerous state medals he has won in all these events.  And not just in Masters Games.  Mr. Lloyd also participates in Senior Olympics at the state and national level, even traveling to other states to participate in their games. 
That is not the only reason that Mr. Lloyd is an All Star.  He shines in other areas as well – including his witty and jovial personality, his generosity in contributing financially to the Masters Games, and his talent on the dance floor.  Dancing with the Stars doesn’t hold a candle to this Masters Games All Star.
We proudly award Robert Lloyd with the District 9 All Stars Award and induct him into the All Stars Hall of Fame.

The “Golden Alumni Award” for District 6 goes to Jane Farrar.  For the past thirty-six years in Chambers County if you said “Lanett Senior Center”, the response has always been “Jane Farrar.”  Jane was the only senior center manager that the Lanett Center had from August, 1977, until her retirement and passing away this past July.
On September 24th, 2010, Jane said, “I love my job because it helps so many people who would otherwise be forgotten and by helping them, I help myself.”   And this helping provided so many athletes the opportunity to participate in the Masters Games of Alabama at the local, district, and state level for more than twenty-five years.  Jane was diligent in her efforts working with the seniors in Lanett by helping them develop the various skills needed to participate in games from checkers to softball throw to horseshoes.  Being very detail orientated, Jane would pour over result sheets, sign-in sheets, and event rosters to ensure that each of her athletes was placed in the correct event and that none were overlooked.  And pity the poor Masters Games official that ever forgot or misspoke to one of her athletes!

SuEllen Snowden of Valley Parks and Recreation Department/Senior Center summed it up the best, “Jane felt the games were for our seniors to enjoy and that the staff should be there to ensure that was happening and to keep the games’ rules simple.”
It is with this humble acknowledgement that Jane Farrar is being awarded the District 6 Golden Alumni award for 2013.  Tomorrow, October 10th would have been Jane’s 83rd birthday, and we can think of no more fitting tribute than to present this award in her honor to her husband, Richard Farrar.  

The “Golden Alumni Award” for District 4 is awarded to Olawhatti Borden.  As the Jacksonville Senior Center Coordinator puts it, “Borden had a love for the game unlike anyone I have ever met.”  Checkers was his game.  All totaled, he had 20 medals displayed in a glass case in his living room. 
He would often say, “Can’t nobody around here beat me.  That is why I go to the State games – to find competition.”  He would often ask for notices to be put up trying to find someone to play with him.  Even after his health declined, he would still stop by to see if there was any “new young blood that needs a good Checkers lesson!’
It is with these cherished memories and in loving honor that Olawhatti Borden is being awarded the District 4 Golden Alumni Award for 2013.

The “Golden Alumni Award” winner from District 9 is Jessie Hill Wright.  She accomplished much in her life. She saw a job that needed to be done and she did it. In 1947, Jesse received a BS in Home Economics from the Tuskegee Institute and then immediately joined the staff of the institute retiring in 1979.  In Macon in the 199os, she saw a need for neighbors to pool their resources for the greater benefit which started the Macon Co. Farmers Organization, and by 1995 the group was a registered cooperative.
As a member of the Prairie Farm Senior Center in Shorter, Mrs. Wright was among the first of the group to participate in the Masters Games, winning over 30 regional awards and ten state medals.  But what is so remarkable about Mrs. Wright is that she handled all the details of the Prairie Farm group’s needs for their participation in the regional & state games – assisting each senior, collecting their entry forms & fees, arranging transportation, making hotel reservations, raising money to pay their expenses – and she did this at the age of 98!!!   As a result of her efforts, the Prairie Farm group became one of the largest participating groups in District 9.
An article in the March 5, 1966 Campus Digest entitled “Mama Wright: An Angel of Mercy & Service” stated that “Mrs. Wright has been an inspiration for the depressed and restraint to the loosely-guided.  She has brought joy into the hearts of the saddened and increased the joy of the happy.”   These comments are as true today as they were in 1966.  Mrs. Wright died on February 27, 2012.  
She has the undying love, respect and gratitude of her senior center participants and the District 9 Masters Games Committee.  It is therefore an honor to award the Golden Alumni Award for District 9 to Jesse Wright Hill.

This year’s “President’s Award” winner is John Parris of District 9.  John began his journey with the Masters Games in its formative year. As the former director of recreation in Selma, he was intimately involved with the District 9 committee from its very first meeting.  He also hosted the first few years of the District 9 games in Selma, and the district golf tournament is still being held there.
John has perhaps been the most influential driving force in the success of the Masters Games golf events, personally recruiting the majority of the golfers who participated in the beginning and even today.  Even after he retired from the recreation department several years ago, and before he was old enough to play himself, he continued to lend his support and assistance to ensure the success of golf events.
He has continued to serve as an active member of the board of directors and , in addition to helping coordinate golf events, he also lends his considerable talents to catching Nerf balls and Frisbees, as well as many other events.  Not only does John bring his considerable talents and experience to the Masters Games, he is also well known as the life of the party, always having a good time and trying to make sure that everyone else enjoys it as much as he does.
It is with great honor and with our deepest appreciation and admiration that we present this year’s President’s award to Mr. John Parris.