The Bennington Banner & Manchester Journal

Gabby Douglas, three-time gold medal gymnast, will headline June 27 local sports gala

Banner-Journal Regional All Stars evening to honor area's top high school athletes, coaches; tickets on sale to public

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The Bennington Banner and Manchester Journal have a special evening planned for the region’s top high school athletes and coaches — and a special guest to help celebrate their accomplishments.

Three-time Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Gabby Douglas will be the honored guest for the inaugural Manchester Journal and Bennington Banner Regional All Stars gala and dinner.

The event — Tuesday, June 27, at 6 p.m., at Bennington College’s Greenwall Auditorium — is made possible by cornerstone sponsors Bennington College, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and Bennington Subaru. Tickets are on sale at http://athleteoftheyear.eventbrite.com.

“I am truly honored to attend the Regional All Stars,” Douglas said. “It's always so encouraging to be around other amazing athletes. This will be my first time visiting this beautiful state and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity.”

Douglas, now 21, was 16 years old when she won the individual all-around and team gold medals at the 2012 London Games, becoming the first American gymnast to ever win both golds at the same Games. She earned a third gold medal with Team USA at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio.

Student-athletes will be recognized in 20 different sports from Mount Anthony Union High School, Burr and Burton Academy, Arlington Memorial High School, Long Trail School, Stratton Mountain School, and Hoosick Falls and Cambridge Central schools in New York. The top student-athletes in each will be announced in upcoming editions of the Banner and Journal starting on Friday, April 28.

“We’re thrilled to be presenting this gala event as an exciting new way to highlight and honor the accomplishments of student-athletes from our region,” said Alan English, publisher of the Banner and Journal. “We’re looking forward to this celebration of young people in the Shires doing great things in their communities.”

The honors won’t stop at athletic achievement. The student-athletes and coaches in attendance also will be in contention for special awards for academic achievement, courage, perseverance, and leadership that will be announced at the gala.

In addition to athletes and coaches of the year honors for boys’ and girls’ sports, awards will be given for remarkable comeback stories, unsung heroes who made their teams’ successes possible, and ambassadors whose effort and dedication promoted a positive reputation for their school and their teammates. 

A team of the year will also be recognized for its 2016-17 athletic achievement. 

“Celebrating achievement in high school sports encourages young people to keep excelling and to use the skills they have gained,” English said. “Their experiences in leadership, goal-setting, teamwork, along with lessons through their sports, are helping to build the leaders of tomorrow in the Shires.”

Chosen athletes who participate in field hockey, soccer, football, cross country running, volleyball, wrestling, snowboarding, ice hockey, dance, cheerleading, basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, golf, track and field, nordic and alpine skiing and swimming will attend the event for free. 

In anticipation for the celebration, athletes, families and fans can spread the word on social media by using #BBAllStars or #MJAllStars in a post.

On June 27, doors open at 5:30 p.m. and awards begin at 6 p.m. Early-bird tickets for the public, family and friends of the athletes include dinner and are $29 until May 31, after which they will cost $45. Buy tickets now at http://athleteoftheyear.eventbrite.com.

A VIP reception with Douglas for sponsors will begin at 5 p.m. Sponsorships and tables are still available.

Greenwall Auditorium is located in the Visual and Performing Arts building at Bennington College, 1 College Drive in North Bennington.


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