LEAP Agility Club welcomes nominations for our "Ellen De Wolf Distinguished Service Award". This award will be presented to a LEAP member in memory Ellen DeWolf, who passed away in late 2010. Ellen was one of our most inspirational, pioneer members.
Ellen and her husband Gordon were at the forefront in introducing and promoting the sport of dog agility in New England. Their lovely home and farm, Merryfields, was the site of some of the first agility workshops, trials, and classes in New England. In 1999, Ellen along with several other agility fans led the effort to form the LEAP Agility Club of Central MA. From the initial meetings in 1999, through the AKC club approval process, to the first official AKC trial in 2002, Ellen played a central role in LEAP's growing reputation as a club that welcomed newcomers to the sport, rewarded service and hard work, and supported its members both in their competitive and personal lives. She served as Treasurer of the new club as well as hosting club meetings, matches, training clinics, and fun activities at Merryfields. It is true to say that LEAP owes much of its initial and ongoing success to Ellen's vision, dedicated service, caring attitude and generous support.
In many ways Ellen personified the true spirit of agility. At the heart of her love and dedication to the sport was her belief that agility was all about having a fun working relationship with your dog, continuing to learn and perfect dog and handler skills while engaging in friendly competition and most importantly supporting your friends and club through both the good and bad times.
Steve is always one of the first to arrive at our trials and one of the last to leave. Whether it is course building, filling empty worker positions, correcting problems, or setting up for the following day, he works hard from beginning to end. Steve does a great job using his actuarial background to set up running orders and accurate schedules. He welcomes participants to each trial, engaging them in conversation and creates a "team" environment. In short, you can always count on Steve and he is the definition of a team player.