Carol Dellinger’s valedictory inspired her audience during Wednesday’s Youth Awards Luncheon at the Spokane Convention Center.
Dellinger was the last of five people presented with special awards and her message to the nearly 1,000 people in attendance was captivating.
You can accomplish what you set out to do no matter the obstacles, she said.
Dellinger, a dental assistant and motivational speaker, is a cancer survivor who has completed 247 marathons. She was presented the Inland Northwest Sportswriters and Broadcasters Dick Wright Certificate of Excellence.
Margie Ray, one of the top volleyball officials in the country, received the SWABS Certificate of Achievement.
Annual 25-Year Awards went to Greater Spokane League athletic secretary Randy Ryan, Spokane Valley middle school teacher and coach Dave Smith and Eastern Washington University Sports Information Director Dave Cook. Most were taken by surprise.
Dellinger tells her story on a blog, WarriorMarathonRunner.com.
A former basketball and softball player, she said she discovered an endurance aptitude that led to marathon running and set as a goal completing 500. She was diagnosed with cancer after completing one in Portland, had her right breast removed, and nine weeks later completed another in Phoenix.
She told the crowd at the youth luncheon that she was a survivor and example of what they could accomplish in their lives.
Ray, a college mathematics teacher, recently completed her third (in four years) NCAA Final Four volleyball assignment, and her second as first official. It was her seventh NCAA tourney overall in 18 years of officiating and she has worked several regional events. The Spokane resident since 1994 is heavily involved in volleyball here. She played sports collegiately and in the Air Force and has been a member of national championship softball teams.
Ryan, a 25-Year Award winner, has been for 40 years an educator who was a head basketball coach at South Kitsap, activities coordinator at Shadle Park and within the district office, as well as GSL secretary for the past decade. He is involved with the Spokane Regional Sports Commission and chaired this year’s luncheon.
Cook, EWU’s SID, has been involved in myriad other sports-related events, including coordinating the WIAA State 1A/2B/1B track meet each spring, and a media liaison at the many NCAA regional basketball tournaments hosted in Spokane. He began at EWU in 1985 on an interim basis, spent four years at Idaho and has been running Eastern’s sports information department since.
Smith is a teacher at Mountain View Middle School who for 25 years coached a premier wrestling program. The Lancers won 167 of 175 dual matches including 134 in a row and 12 of 13 league tournaments. He is back in coaching at Sacajawea Middle School in District 81.