STRATFORD–The Stratford Old Timers Athletic Association will honor a group of seven at its 54th Annual Golden Crown Awards Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m., at the Oronoque Country Club.
One of those being honored is Sterling House’s Bill O’Brien, the winner of the 2019 Tim Ramik Award.
Born in Bridgeport, Bill O’Brien’s family moved to Stratford when he was five.
“The oldest of eight, living in a neighborhood with 40 kids, we played many self-organized games including baseball, tackle football, marbles, horseshoes, winter hockey bike tag, and other creative activities,” is how he describes his early years.
Bill played Little League baseball and gives credit to his parents for his love of the beach and his confidence as a swimmer.
Bill attended Fairfield Prep, lettering in cross country and track.
Following a brief stint at the new Sacred Heart University, he enlisted in the Marine Corps.
Highlights of his USMC years included a 13-month assignment at the Chu Lai Air Base from 1967-’68.
The memorable year of 1968 ended with Bill assigned to the Marine Detachment aboard the carrier USS Yorktown.
On Dec. 27, the ship recovered the Apollo 8 spacecraft when it splashed down in the South Pacific. This was the first spacecraft to orbit the moon.
He entered the University of New Haven after his honorable discharge, graduating with honors with a degree in Business/Public Administration.
Bill coached basketball and soccer at Sterling House Community Center for many years and recently semi-retired as the facility’s Athletic Director.
He also coached Stratford PAL softball with his brother Jim.
His community volunteer involvement included membership in Stratford Rotary (Past President), Stratford Community Fund (Past President), Stratford Youth Sports Association, Stratford Softball Tournaments, Inc., Stratford Old Timers Athletic Assn., Baldwin Men’s Club, Stratford Veterans Museum, Parks & Rec. member (current chairman) and 9th District Councilman.
Highlights of his Sterling House career included the formation of a high school basketball league, a spring soccer league, and the annual Debbie Diaz & Erin Jockers Awards.
He is also proud of the Kick Start Soccer Clinic that was created by and continues to be managed by high school soccer players for 17 years.
Bill’s fiancé is Patricia “Tish” Morrissey, who is also being honored tonight with the Micki Stratton Award.
O’Brien’s son Seth and wife Leonor live in Trumbull with daughters Isabel and Rachel. His daughter Sarah and husband Paul live in Weston with sons Jonathan & Matthew. His son Brett lives in Milford.
Tickets ($40 each), table reservations of 10 and ads for the program book can be reserved by contacting SOAA president and dinner co-chairman Bob Mastroni, 1432 Main St., Stratford, CT 06615; or by e-mail at email@example.com or via phone at 203-362-5675.
The doors will open at 6 p.m.
All tickets must be paid for in advance and no tickets will be sold at the door.
Also being honored are Patti Fernandez, Ed Rooney and Ed Yearwood, who will receive Golden Crown Athletic Achievement Awards.
Special recognition will also be accorded to Ray Bastarache (Alvin “Bud” Russell Award) and Mike LaPia (Jack Geary Award).