HARVEST HALL OF FAME BANQUET
There is more to the Nally Golden Harvest Cup than just darts...Jay Tomlinson gives us an insight into the Golden Harvest Annual Hall of Fame Banquet
The end of day two at the Harvest, all players are required to attend the Golden Harvest Hall of Fame Banquet. It’s a chance to recognize the many sponsors who make it all possible and the organizers and volunteers who provide the services for the tournament. It’s a semi formal affair and a relaxing conclusion to the second day. One of the highlights of the banquet is the announcement of the top sixteen seeds.
The banquet takes its name, Hall of Fame, due to the special presentations made to special individuals who have contributed above and beyond to the sport of darts and the Golden Harvest. The categories of recognition are International Player, Canadian Male Player, Canadian Female Player, Builder, and Volunteer. There is also a Volunteer Ring, which goes to the person who has at least three years service to the Golden Harvest and has shown over and above unselfish service toward the Golden Harvest.
This year the International Player recognized was John Lowe. Nominations came in during the past year and the Golden Harvest selection committee reviews the nominations and selects the person based on participation in the Harvest, sportsmanship, achievements, and has the respect of his peers. A more worthy individual couldn’t be found.
The 2001 Canadian Male Player inducted into the hall of Fame was Les Berini, who was more than surprised at his accolade. Les has been playing darts for 50 years and plays in every tournament he can. He has the respect of every dart player in Canada. According to Ken Finch, “Les is everybody’s friend, and it was an honor for the Harvest committee to induct him into the Hall of Fame.”
The 2001 Canadian Female Player was none other than first time Golden Harvest champion Gayl King. Finch reminded everyone, “Gayl King is the first player to break into the ranks of the PDC professional players by participating in the World Championships this January. She also has supported the Golden Harvest since it’s conception.”
The 2001 Hall of Fame Builder was Brenda McKechnie. “No person is more worthy of this honor than Brenda,” said Finch. “Brenda is my right hand man, or women, and makes decisions when I’m not there. Sometimes right, sometimes wrong, but at least she makes one!.
“Brenda is the Saskatchewan Darts Association president and has been for eight years. She’s also the Saskatchewan Director of the Golden Harvest. She sees to it that the setup and activities on a yearly basis, run smoothly.”
Finally, the 2001 Volunteer inductee to the Hall of Fame was Al Duhaime. “Duhaime is one of the hardest working volunteers the Golden Harvest has ever had. He does everything with a smile and nothing is ever too much or him. Duhaime works with pride and never asks for a thing. He is affectionately known as Ken’s gopher,” according to Brenda and the rest of the volunteers said Finch.
The 2001 Volunteer Ring went to Brent Dahl from Calgary for his unselfish service to the Golden Harvest. He works all year in Calgary to help promote the Golden Harvest. He is also a dart player in the event and drives the truck with all the Golden Harvest materials for the event using his holidays to accomplish this.
All in all this important night, went well and helped add to a successful tournament:
“The Hall of Fame Banquet is a very important part of the Golden Harvest,” according to Finch, “where players, sponsors and volunteers get to recognize each other for their achievements under a friendly atmosphere, where new friends are met and made, and old friends are seen again.”
Jay is the editor of Bulls-Eye News - www.bullseyenews.com