When top athletes congregate at a celebration of their excellence, all they really want to listen to is a guest speaker who has been in their shoes.
And that’s who the best of Bucks County’s high schools will hear when they attend the 20th annual Kiwanis Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet on Wednesday night, May 23, at the Sheraton Hotel/Bucks County.
Brian Propp, a member of the Flyers’ Hall of Fame and the third-leading scorer in team history, will address the honored attendees from 18 local high schools.
The banquet is a product of the annual Kiwanis-Sesame Place Classic 5K, which is scheduled for Sesame Place in Middletown Township on Sunday, May 20.
Levittown-Bristol Kiwanis organizes the awards banquet.
The top boy and girl senior scholar-athlete from each school will be honored (and receive financial assistance toward college) as part of the Dick Dougherty Scholarship Fund, named for the late Bucks County Courier Times sports editor.
Propp is one of the most recognizable names in Flyers’ lore.
He appeared in three Stanley Cup finals (1980, 1985 and 1987) with the Philadelphia hockey team and is one of just 87 players to score 1,000 points in National Hockey League history.
It promises to be a night of fun and energy.
“Brian Propp is a legend, not just in Philadelphia but in the NHL,’’ said Jill Gilardi of the Levittown-Bristol Kiwanis Club. “I’m so excited for the graduating seniors to be addressed by an athlete of Propp’s caliber.
“His career is a model of discipline and determination.’’
Mary Ann Delia of Levittown-Bristol Kiwanis coordinates the awards process and looks forward to seeing worthy recipients recognized for their efforts.
“Outstanding scholar-athletes recommended by their coaches and athletic directors are proof our county will be in good hands,’’ Delia remarked.
“Banquet attendees will be rejuvenated by having heard the accomplishments of these exceptional teenagers.’’
Dixie Rhodes of Levittown-Bristol Kiwanis has been a force behind the Classic and the awards banquet for many years and believes this 20th anniversary night will be special.
“I’m sure Propp’s message will be received by our stellar lineup of award winners,’’ she said. “His message will be pertinent for today’s athletes.’’
Over the past two decades, more than $400,000 has been raised for the Dick Dougherty Scholarship Fund.
“We are proud of our record,’’ Rhodes said. “And we are proud of this year’s scholarship winners.’’
Propp has taken part in other local projects involving funding for Bucks County youth, including a golf tournament for “Dollars for Citizen Scholars.’’
“This is such a thrilling year for the Kiwanis-Sesame Place Classic,’’ said Gilardi. “It’s not every year we have such an accomplished athlete able to give his insight on his education and his sport.’’
If you wish to make a donation to the Sesame Place Classic/Dick Dougherty Scholarship Fund, visit www.sesameplaceclassic5K.com.
Saturday, May 4
Run for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 5K, 9:30 a.m., Peace Valley Park (Doylestown). Contact www.active.com
Run for Woods 5K, 9 a.m., Langhorne. Contact www.secure.e2rm.com
Sunday, May 20
20th annual Kiwanis-Sesame Place Classic 5K, one-mile, kids’ sprint, 7 a.m., Sesame Place, Middletown Township. Contact www.sesameplaceclassic5k.com