Made huge contributions to so many parts of USMS
The Ransom J. Arthur Award is the most prestigious of U.S. Masters Swimming awards. It is presented to a person who displays great volunteerism and enthusiasm for the sport of swimming and for U.S. Masters Swimming as an organization. This award is given in honor of Captain Ransom J. Arthur, M.D., who by his sacrifice, perseverance and dedication to improving the health of adults through aquatic fitness, established a Masters swimming program in the United States.
Julie Heather Paque, this year's recipient, was awarded this honor last week at the 2009 U.S. Masters Swimming Short Course National Championship in Fresno, Calif. USMS President Rob Copeland presented the award to our honoree. His words below were given in a speech highlighting the efforts and accomplishments of Julie Heather.
"As the president of U.S. Masters Swimming, my favorite responsibility is to recognize the athletic and service accomplishments of our members. And it is my great pleasure to recognize the winner of the Ransom J. Arthur Award, our most prestigious award.
"Captain Ransom J. Arthur was the founding father of United States Masters Swimming. His vision of promoting adult health through fitness and competition was revolutionary. He created a stage upon which adults could gather, compete and support each other in the lifelong pursuit of training and fitness goals. Today, adult fitness is a natural aspect of life. This wasn't so in 1970, when 46 athletes gathered in Amarillo, Texas, for the first Masters Short Course National Championship. Forty years ago, Ransom had a passion and a vision. Today, we are the result of that vision, and we are the torchbearers of his passion.
"Each year Masters swimming recognizes one of our members who embody the dedication, leadership and passion required to carry the vision forward. Our 2009 recipient is no exception to this rich tradition; she has been instrumental in the growth, evolution and promotion of Masters swimming at all levels. When Masters swimming needs a leader to take charge of a difficult challenge or a volunteer to lend a hand, I can look to this year's recipient and know she will take on the challenge, no matter how big or small, and see it through to a successful end. She is a meticulous worker with the talent and experience to get things done.
"And while she is not looking for recognition for her volunteerism and leadership, it is my great pleasure to recognize this year's Ransom J. Arthur Award recipient, Julie Heather. Nationally, Julie currently serves as our vice president of local operations, is a member of our Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Julie chaired the Club Development Task Force, producing a comprehensive strategic plan, which is currently being implemented. She was instrumental in the creation of our Recognition and Awards Committee and our Safety Education Committee; both of which she served as chair. Julie also served as our Rule Book Committee chair, and she is a driving force behind online registration, end-to-end event management, governance and LMSC leadership. In her 20 years as a member of our national House of Delegates, Julie has been and continues to be a driven, outspoken, insightful and passionate leader and volunteer, who I can count on to support the mission of Masters swimming to promote fitness and health in adults by offering and supporting Masters swimming programs.
"Julie is also active within her zone and LMSC. She is currently the SPMA registrar, newsletter editor, Top 10 and Sanctions chair. And she previously served as the chair of PMS (twice), the secretary of SPMA and PMS, and as the PMS Fitness and Safety chair.
"Additionally, Julie has been an active and well respected volunteer and leader within the Red Cross. And when she's not volunteering, she is a highly regarded meteoritic scientist at the California Institute of Technology.
"And most important to me, Julie is a friend whom I greatly admire and respect. I would like you to join me in recognizing the years of leadership, passion, dedication, support and volunteerism bestowed upon Masters swimming by Julie Heather, our 2009 USMS Ransom J. Arthur Award recipient."
Congratulations, Julie. You serve as an inspiration and an example for all members of U.S. Masters Swimming.