Michael Meadors and Sue Chipman are Among the Honorees at the Tenth Annual GABL Honors Program

Michael Meadors, the Exective Director of the Johnson County Parks and Recreation District, and Sue Chipman, a teacher, coach and benefactor to many young athletes, will be among the honorees at the tenth annual Sonic GABL Youth Sports Foundation Honors Program. The program will be held Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. at the Lenexa Conference Center.

Michael Meadors is being awarded the “Making a Difference” Award. This award is given to an individual who has made a positive difference in the lives of youth, serves the community in a positive manner and promotes the values of athletic participation. Michael has been the Executive Director of the Johnson County Parks and Recreation District since 2001. He has worked in parks and recreation for over 32 years. Under his leadership, JCPRD has acquired more than 4,000 acres of new parkland and building or improvement of several major facilities, including Mid-America Sports Complex and Okun Fieldhouse, and the construction of TimberRidge Adventure Center and New Century Fieldhouse. For his service, Michael has been awarded the Distinguished Fellow Award from the Kansas Recreation and Park Association in 2012 as well as the Distinguished Professional Award in 1995.

Chipman is the 2013 recipient of the Marcus Priddy Award. This award is named in honor of the late Shawnee Mission West girls basketball coach and GABL summer league staff member. It recognizes a current coach (youth, high school or college) who is making a positive difference in the lives of his or her players. Chipman just finished her 27th year as an assistant girls basketball coach at SM East. She also serves as the head varsity coach for both boys’ and girls’ tennis teams. Her tennis teams have won 10 State Championships under her guidance, the most recent girls title in 2012. This is her 50th year of teaching. While she plans on retiring from teaching at the end of the school year, she plans to continue her coaching career at SM East. Chipman’s former players and colleagues describe her as unselfish, humble, positive, patient, having a great work ethic, and a 1st class person.

The Court of Honor was established to recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves through service to GABL and have been a positive influence on the youth of our community. The Class of 2013 is Eric Arner and Derek Majors. Arner has held leadership positions in GABL dating back to 2003. He was instrumental in the development of the GABL girls basketball program in 2005, served on the Board of Directors and various committees for nine years. Majors has been involved with GABL for over 24 years. During this time he has served as an official, coach, area director, board member, commissioner and finally as president of the GABL Youth Sports Foundation. Derek was instrumental in the creation of the 1st and 2nd grade advanced league and still continues to be its director. Derek also was the first Chairman of the Honors Program. His leadership has been influential in the continued success of GABL and the many initiatives put in place during his tenure.

The program also gives the Foundation the opportunity to recognize corporate partners and teams that uphold the highest principles of sportsmanship. The Honors Program was launched in 2004 as part of the 30th Anniversary celebration of GABL.

The GABL Youth Sports Foundation is a not-for-profit 501 (c)-3 community service corporation. Its mission is to serve youth by establishing and supporting opportunities through sports that will make a positive lifelong impact on their physical, social and mental development. Currently, the Foundation’s significant program initiatives are the Great American Basketball League, the GABL Basketball Academy and GABL Outreach. For more information about the foundation and its programs, call 913/236-8833 or go to www.gabl.net.

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