NFF Announces 2005 Chapter Leadership Award Winners


MORRISTOWN, N.J., Oct. 25, 2005 – From its nationwide network of 119 chapters and 10,000 members, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today the selection of four dedicated individuals as recipients of the 2005 Chapter Leadership Awards.

The 2005 Chapter Leadership Award Recipients are:

  • Carl Barzilauskas – Midwest Region – Central Indiana Chapter
  • Emo DiNitto – East Region – Rhode Island Chapter
  • Walter W. Hunt II – West Region – King County (Seattle) Chapter
  • Tony Sardisco – South Region – S.M. McNaughton (Shreveport, La.) Chapter

The Chapter Leadership Awards annually recognize four individuals, one from each region, for their commitment, generosity and leadership at the local level. The NFF Chapter Leadership Award winners have dedicated themselves to fulfilling the Foundation’s mission of promoting the game of amateur football and its benefits to America’s youth. From scholar-athlete banquets to youth coaching academies, each of these honorees leads a devoted effort to touch the lives of countless youth, high school and collegiate football players.

“These four honorees are emblematic of the efforts by all our chapter presidents to maintain a strong presence in promoting the ideals of amateur football in their communities,” said NFF President Steve Hatchell. “The success of our chapter network could not survive without the commitment displayed by individuals such as these four.”

The 119 NFF chapters annually recognize close to 3,000 scholar-athletes and award more than $750,000 in scholarships to high school and college scholar-athletes. These honorees have spearheaded their chapter’s efforts in selecting the recipients of these awards, securing funding for future scholarships, and impacting the lives of many in their areas.

These four recipients will be honored as part of the NFF Annual Awards Luncheon on December 6, 2005, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Later that evening, they will be recognized before a capacity crowd of 1,500 during the NFF’s 48th Annual Awards Dinner. The Dinner marks the official induction of 13 college football legends into the College Football Hall of Fame. In addition, the NFF will honor 16 college seniors with National Scholar-Athlete Awards and will present the nation’s top football scholar-athlete with the Draddy Trophy presented by HealthSouth. For more information on these events, please visit www.footballfoundation.com.

Walter W. Hunt II - West Region

Since taking over as president of the NFF’s King County Chapter seven years ago, Walter W. Hunt II has provided the proper balance of aggressiveness and foresight in reaching into his past accomplishments to spur the chapter’s growth in numbers, programs and significance.

As a fullback on the University of Washington Huskies for four years, Hunt enjoyed success on both the individual and team levels. He received the “Most Improved Player” award following his junior season in 1983, and played a prominent role in the Huskies 1984 season that saw them finish 11-1 and #2 in the nation, following a victory over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

Hunt remained active in the Washington football landscape after his playing days, coaching at several different high schools before a seven-years stint with the University of Puget Sound. In 1991, Hunt coordinated the South Seattle Youth Football Camp attended by more than 200 youth players. He joined the board of the NFF’s King County Chapter in 1992, and after eight years, became the chapter president in 1998.

Since then, Hunt has spearheaded an aggressive campaign to establish the chapter’s identity more prominently in the local community and impact a greater number of football players. The chapter has increased the scholarship money it awards to local high school football players from $2,000 annually to more than $7,000. The NFL/NFF Coaching Academy, held each year at the home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, attracts a capacity crowd of 150 local coaches who learn the finer points of coaching the game at the youth and high school levels. In addition, Hunt played a critical role in brining the NFF’s Play It Smart program to two local high schools, Chief Sealth and Rainier Beach High Schools, and plans to lead an effort to increase the program’s reach in the Seattle area.

“Walt has a distinguished background in the community, and he’s used that with a high energy level and commitment for the NFF to take the King County to new heights in their local community,” said Bob Keropian, NFF West Region Coordinator. “He’s connected with the key members of the local football community, and rallied an amazing amount of support for the chapter and the programs they run on an annual basis.”

Leveraging relationships with both the Seahawks and the Seattle Bowl, Hunt created new opportunities for his chapter to raise money to support amateur football in the local community. Additionally, the chapter’s newly introduced golf tournament funnels dozens of new members into their ranks, helping increase attendance at the chapter’s scholar-athlete banquet that now annually attracts more than 500 people.

“We’ve been aggressive in not only attracting new members but retaining the ones currently within our chapter roster,” Hunt said. “It’s important to remind our members about the benefits of joining and renewing and I think we’ve been very successful with the events we’ve held over the past several years in doing this.”

Hunt is in his fourth year coaching football at Auburn High School, just south of Seattle. He and his wife, Lisa, have a six-year-old son Trey.

 

 

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