The Middle Atlantic Awards Banquet held on November 30, 2013 was a great success. Vice President Pastor Dave Price is to be highly commended for his outstanding efforts to make it such a success. I merely said, "Dave, wouldn't it be a great idea to have an Awards Banquet for our National Champions and recognize our Outstanding Officials." The rest was all Dave-planning, prepping, organizing, ordering, buying, notifying, etc. We all owe our Vice President a big thank you. We anticipated 50-100 people for the banquet to be a success. However, Dave had to bring out more tables and chairs as the number of members and guests rose to about 150. We recognized 10 of our 12 National Champions (2 had prior commitments, but their plaques were hand delivered to their Coaches) and 15 of our Officials. Special Awards were given to Vice President Dave Price for Outstanding Coach (producing the most National Champions), Bernard Bruni for Outstanding Chief of Officials, Milke Milloy as an "Unsung Hero," for his dedication to our shows, Jeff McGrath, our Treasurer for his tireless efforts to keep meticulous records of our funds, Dr. George Bonner for his painstaking reliability to assist our Athletes and Clubs, and a Lifetime Achievement Award for Mr. Mitchell Allen for his decades of dedication to amateur boxing. And of course, Mr. Richard (Dick) Trindle for his vital and unwavering dedication to the advancement of our LBC. He is truly the hidden force behind our success. We were also fortunate enough to recognize Mrs. Joyce Fulton, mother of the late Olympian Lonnie Young, who perished with the rest of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team in a plane crash in route to Poland to prepare for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. We had numerous local professional boxers on-hand to present the plaques, in addition to 1984 Super Heavyweight Gold Medalist Tyrell Biggs.
2013 boasted a record year for the Middle Atlantic Association. I believe we broke every record we have on record. We achieved over 1,100 members, registered 47 Clubs and more than 450 Coaches. We had 7 Coaches Clinics, 5 Officials Clinics, increased our Treasury more than ten-fold, had 64 days of boxing--64 days!!! That is an astounding number that can only be accomplished by an incredible amount of Athletes, Coaches and extremely diligent work by Chief of Officials Bruni and the staff he oversees. It also requires HARMONY. If you recall at our first meeting of the year, that was our goal for 2013 and it seems to have worked really well for about 98% of us. For the 2% who do no wish to play well in the sandbox, we all politely ask you to find another sport. We are having too much fun and success to be dragged down.
2013 had some minor and not-so-minor rules violations which had to be addressed. The vast majority were just misunderstandings and minor breaches of the rules; but some were a little more egregious and had to be aggressively pursued with results up to and including suspensions. RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS IS CRUCIAL. YOU KNOW THE RULES, FOLLOW THEM OR BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE-this applies to all. We will not jeopardize losing our LBC ever again. USA Boxing is making big changes. President Butler is doing an awesome job at the helm. USA Boxing is once again sailing in the right direction, strongly, confidently and successfully. Dr. Butler and team (Lynette Smith and Deborah Muhammad-my two favorites staffers) were tasked with writing new rules in order to comply with global standards. This was done and then some. We have a learning curve ahead of us, but our Officials have been tested on the new rules and are accountable for their actions as well.
A National Grassroots Task Force consisting of only 13 members from across the country was hand-selected to prepare a manual to assist LBCs, Clubs, and Members in EVERY aspect to become more successful. I was fortunate enough to have the honor of being selected to assist in this monumental and historic endeavor. Our LBC has gained national recognition for its contributions due to your hard work. When I presented the National Champions with their plaques, they all thanked me graciously. However, I told them all. It is I who thank you. You made me proud and look great as your President. Let's keep this success in gear.
We have many goals set for 2014. Aside from developing National Champions, we will be trying to expand our membership and broaden the awareness of the amateur boxing program throughout our LBC. Our goal is 1,200 members and 50 Clubs. I KNOW we can do it. We will be empowering as many members as possible to assist with LBC Committees. Everyone has a voice. This is your LBC. 100% compliance to rules will obviously continue to be the Middle Atlantic's trademark; we will have quarterly Coaches and Officials Certification Clinics to afford every member the opportunity to remain in good standings. Our number one goal is to become the model LBC for USA Boxing. Mr. Trindle has already advised that we will soon be released from the Oversight and on our way to autonomy. Not a bad start already for 2014.
We will have the final Coaches Certification Clinic of the year on Sunday, December 15, 2013. The location is 1199 W. Browning Road, Bellmawr, NJ 08031. The Clinic will begin at 1:00 pm sharp. Certification is required every 24 months in order to work your boxer's corner. YOU MUST BE CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN ORDER TO ATTEND. Registration for 2014 began on November 1st (it also includes the remainder of 2013 for those not currently registered).
Thank you all for a very successful, exciting and prosperous 2013. It has been a pleasure serving you.
William R. Billingham
Middle Atlantic Association