Who exemplifies sportsmanship, integrity, honor, grace, honesty, humility, and dedication to our sport? Who will you be nominating for this prestigious award?
Manny Perez Award
(These words are borrowed from the eulogy for Manny Perez written by “Gritter” Griffin)
A man with love for his world, for his life, for the people in his life. On the water Manny lived in a world of perfection. A world he understood like no other, drawn to the perfection that is the natural world and he basked in it. It energized him. It reset his clock and filled his soul with a genuine joy.
He was a Son, Brother, Dad, Friend, Athlete, Intense Competitor, Master Angler, Entrepreneur, Warrior, all this....and more. So very much more.
In his view, he could never be enough, never say enough, never do enough, for those he called a friend.
Gritter’s favorite life quote, a quote often attributed to Aristotle -"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." These words epitomize everything that was Manny Perez.
Those who were fortunate enough to have shared in Manny's brief time in this world are better for having had the experience. In fact, the world itself is a better place for having had Manny walk this mortal plane. And while everything in each of our personal worlds may seem to be a little less without him - although; he lives on in our hearts and in our minds.
Some of these memories of Manny are funny, some sad, some make us laugh, some make us cry and some may even make us mad. But these are the memories that, in so many ways, will inspire us. Manny inspired us to be better people. To be kinder to each other, to our friends, to our families, and to strangers alike. These are the memories that change who we are, that make us better at everything we do. Inspire us to work harder, to be better, to be kinder, to help.....because that was Manny - always helping. He was always reaching out to lend a hand. He was never too busy to help a friend, a stranger, or a competitor. When he saw a need he never asked what to do or how to do it, he just did what needed doing and got the job done.
Manny was not very good at asking anyone for anything. He was, however, very good at giving of whatever he had to give to anyone who needed it. He was also very, very good at "getting on with it" and getting the job done - whatever that job may have been. On the field of play, in the workplace, or on the water he neither asked nor gave quarter. He simply did what was needed to finish the task at hand.
And, if that job was to defeat you in competition then woe be unto you because you were in a singularly precarious position from the opening bell.
Very few people in any walk of life are as dedicated, work as hard, as long, or as intently as Manny Perez. His enormous capacity for work, his boundless energy, his devotion to excellence in all things, and his great and kind heart made Manny Perez a giant among men. A man of character, of drive, of courage, and of vision. He was a man with heart, love, and genuine friendship in his soul for all those he knew and loved.
As you nominate a fellow competitor, remember Manny Perez. We should all aspire to hold the many selfless characteristics this man brought to life.
Manny Perez - Your Works live on.....