Tony Brudis- Since 1997, Howard County Youth Program athletes have enjoyed the thrill of playing under the lights at Kiwanis-Wallas Park, thanks to Tony’s persistence. As the baseball commissioner and, later, president of the Howard County Youth Program, Tony worked with the county government and the Department of Recreation and Parks to bring lights, as well as other major improvements, to the fields. With night games now possible, HCYP expanded its recreational leagues and provided more opportunities for our youth. Since 1992, Tony has worn many hats for HCYP, from coach/manager of softball, baseball and basketball teams to commissioner of the minor and major league baseball leagues. Tony has also served local residents as a member of the Blandair Planning Committee, the Golf Advisory Board and the Recreation and Parks board.

Jim Carlan- As president (1996-2002), and later as chief operating officer, Jim presided over the tremendous growth of the Soccer Association of Columbia/Howard County, which went from about 2,000 players to 6,000 during his tenure. Jim’s vision and perseverance were the driving forces behind the club’s development of a permanent soccer complex, known as Northrop Fields at Covenant Park. It opened in 2004. He negotiated major sponsorships for uniforms, equipment and the complex, and under his leadership the Simon Decker Tournament, an Outreach Program for disadvantaged youth, a U-19 recreation program, a short-sided league and other programs were initiated. He also coached from 1973 through 2006, and was named the 1993 Maryland State Youth Soccer Coach of the Year.

Don Disney- As a physical education teacher at Atholton Elementary School in 1977, Don incorporated jump roping into a choreographed dance routine to create “jump aerobics.” His students had so much fun with this new twist on jump roping that Don started a jump rope physical fitness club, the Kangaroo Kids. It was an immediate success. Don’s “Fitness Ambassadors,” as he called them, began demonstrating their skills locally and soon were performing throughout the United States, at sporting events, physical education conferences, parades, festivals and nursing homes. In 1983, Don became the athletics coordinator for the county’s schools and turned the club over to Jim McCleary and Jean Hodges. The precision jump rope team, now known worldwide, continues to inspire youngsters to have fun and get fit.

Karen Dye- For the past three decades, Karen has devoted her time to helping girls develop in sports. Her passion for field hockey and girls lacrosse is evident in her dedication to officiating, to training and evaluating officials and to the development of recreational leagues in Howard County. As a member of the Howard/Carroll Officials Association since 1978, and a current member of its board of directors, Karen officiates both field hockey and lacrosse at the recreational, high school and collegiate levels. She also serves as an administrator to these programs. An avid volunteer, Karen has served as tournament director for the Soccer Association of Columbia’s Invitational Memorial Day Tournament, as vice president of the Maryland Youth Soccer Association and as secretary of the Columbia Volksmarch Club.

Roger Hockey- For more than 25 years, Roger has worked tirelessly to benefit adult softball in Howard County and throughout Maryland, including military leagues. In 1982, he established an organization to provide USSSA officials to the county’s fledgling Men’s Softball League, which had formed a year earlier. Although his first role was to assign officials, as the program grew and expanded to offer tournaments, Roger’s involvement in softball grew as well. He has been involved in just about every aspect of softball in Howard County -- as a player, umpire, assignor, league commissioner, tournament director, grounds keeper and park attendant. He has trained officials, advocated for players and officials, and done all he can to ensure that participants have a quality program.

Helen Moody- As a long-time official and administrator, Helen has ensured that girls of all ages have well-trained officials for their field hockey and lacrosse games. A hockey official since 1970, Helen founded the Howard/Carroll Officials Association in 1978 to recruit, train and evaluate officials for recreational, high school and college games. When girls lacrosse was introduced to the county in the late-1980s, Helen played an essential role in the development of the sport by providing trained officials. She has always been active in the recreational leagues. Helen is now training high school girls to officiate youth games in the U.S. Lacrosse program. The number of officials who were trained by Helen and now officiate at the collegiate level is a testament to Helen’s commitment to the sport.

Stanley “Chick” Nedzel- Chick, along with Paul Hill, Phil Owens, Harold Hill and others, founded the Elkridge Youth Organization (EYO) in 1956-57. Many consider Chick, who championed the development and growth of EYO, to be the face of the organization. He served as a coach, manager, head umpire and commissioner and did whatever was necessary to provide the children of Elkridge, as well as Relay, Jessup, Dorsey and Savage, an opportunity to play baseball. He was instrumental in ensuring the fields, first located on Clark Boulevard field in Relay and later on donated land on Levering Avenue, were playable. At Rockburn Branch Park, now EYO’s home, there is a plaque dedicated to his memory by the grateful citizens of Elkridge.