Have you ever stopped to think what impact a quick conservation can have? Thirteen years ago, Joe Preston was having a conservation with one of his co-workers, Pam Hathcock. Joe knew that Pam had young children. He told her about a local summer swim team. His own children had swum for the Maryville-Alcoa Flying Dolphins, and they had great experiences. He felt Pam's children, then ages 9 and 6, would love the experience too. That experience led to two confident swimmers who had much success in swimming and were both offered college swim scholarships. Anna and Ethan Hathcock owe a lot to the Prestons.
Over the years, the Prestons have been inspirations to many families. It is for that reason, we would like to honor them tonight. The Prestons have worked tirelessly with summer swimming for years. Long after their children Brittany and Andy hung up their Dolphin caps, the Prestons continued to contribute. Rebecca has been recognized for her involvement in Meet Entry and Meet Management and was inducted into the GKAISA Hall of Fame in 2011. Joe has been the driving force in our Smoky Mountain Invitational. He has contributed many new ideas, but also held true to its traditions.
So, in the next couple of weeks, why don't you share with a friend, neighbor, or co-worker your Dolphin experience and encourage them to join? The Prestons did, and it has made the difference for many others.
Several years ago, the ‘Dolphins recognized the contributions of the Preston’s with the Preston scholarship.
For the last few years, Joe and Rebecca have been key to the ‘Dolphins delivering the Smoky Mtn Invitational – and without SMI, its doubtful if there could be the ‘Dolphins.
So let us bring recognition to these two new members of the MAFD Hall of Fame--Joe and Rebecca Preston.
For our newly established Hall of Fame, we wanted to recognize some INCREDIBLE people who definitely deserve this honor. Twenty-two years ago, a family came to join the Maryville-Alcoa Flying Dolphins. During that summer of 1997, young Hannah Lazar, age 5, made a splash. The contributions of this family will have a perpetual ripple. Father David Lazar would go on to serve in countless leadership positions such as Vice President for two years, President for four years, SMI Meet Director, and Treasurer for two years. This was definitely a family affair. Mom Beth Lazar also served as President for two years and SMI Meet Director. She was instrumental in the purchasing of our first touchpads. The swimmers love to see their times flash up on the scoreboard, and Beth is the reason for this. Daughters Malerie and Olivia also joined in and have contributed much spirit and coaching expertise to our team. We recognize the INCREDIBLE Lazars!
Denise and Terry became Dolphin parents in 2004 when their daughter Mallory started to swim at age 7. Their son, Will, also became a Dolphin at age 6. Denise became the SMI Director in 2008 and achieved remarkably successful meets for 9 consecutive years through SMI 2017. Denise served as the MAFD President from 2012 until 2014. Terry served as an official, an official’s trainer, and advisor. Terry served the area as a board member at GKAISA, was then elected the GKAISA President in 2016 through 2018.
While SMI director, Denise led the implementation of numerous significant improvements to the SMI meet. She managed the change to a single tent supplier and then implemented a new vendor to manage the rentals and tent installation. She took us from awarding meet trophies (which no one had cases to exhibit) to meet banners, which everyone proudly displays in their SMI tents and in their practice facilities. She brought us the “Coaches Relay” which brings a huge fun element of competition and interest from our coaching staffs and swimmers. Most importantly to the Dolphin fund raising she expanded the SMI “Spectator Swim” to make it second only to the swimmer entry fee in revenue creation.
Terry represented the Dolphins interests at GKAISA. He also became one of the top SMI Meet Referees. His willingness to help SMI each year for the weekend has remained a great blessing to the Dolphins.