The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 28, 1996 · Page 47
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 47

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 28, 1996
Page 47
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Most Caring Coach Honorable Mentions, continued from Page 10 PAT IRW1N, cross-country track, Detroit: Irwin, 31, a full-time hospital labor negotiator, devotes all his free time to coaching at his alma mater, Most Holy Redeemer High School, in a neighborhood plagued by gangs and drugs. He's not married ("no time") and doesn't drink or smoke ("I like to set a good example"). He calls kids on his team daily to make sure they do their homework. And requires them to get involved in school life, by running for office, for instance. With his encouragement, Erin Lashbrook raised her failing average to a B and entered college last fall on a track scholarship. "I never understood the possibilities," she says, "till Pat showed me." Says the coach: "We're not about running. We're about pulling ourselves up." DONALD CHAFFEE, wheelchair sports, Newington, Com.: Chaffee, 54, co-founded the Cruisers Wheelchair Sports Team in 1984. He coaches 30-plus kids, ages 4-18, and arranges travel to out-of-town meets, even helping with medical and personal needs during hotel stays. "This has given the kids a sense of self-esteem," says nominator Joanne Field, mom of Cruiser Alissa, 14. "They're learning things they can do, not just what they can't do." The Cruisers, sponsored by Connecticut Children's Medical Center, participate in events from marathons to shot put. Two Cruisers set records at the '95 National Junior Wheelchair Championships. Says Chaffee: "I've never had to teach sportsmanship, as I did with my Little League teams. It happens spontaneously with these kids." WAYNE THORNTON, various sports, El Paso: Thornton, 38, city Recreation Program supervisor, is dedicated to providing athletic opportunities for kids with no other outlet. Case in point: In 1994, juvenile vandalism rates were up and kids griped they had nothing to do on weekend nights. So Thornton helped start a midnight basketball league involving 300 boys. Result: Calls for police service dropped significantly in the four areas served by the program. Thornton also formed a basketball league for kids in grades 3-12 that now serves 800. His emphasis: respect. "The three biggest words in the dictionary are 'mom,' 'dad,' and 'coach' or 'teacher,'" he says. "I tell the kids, 'As long as you respect those three, you'll get through.'" C3 Wt The Spot Bans Hit The Spot Ms Perfectly Fit" 1 BUM Perfectly Fit-Legs Total Body ScaktfiiQ Personal IrataerJeriei WAL*MART AUMWS LOW PRICES. AUMWS WAL-MAffT Aerobics & OIHHWAL-MABT

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