This past Tuesday, at McNeil Field 8 in Montrose, the Montrose Recreation Foundation awarded Ashlyn Manuel with the 1st Annual Connor Imus Impact Award in honor and celebration of Connor Imus, who passed away last year.
“It’s not surprising that Connor made such a huge impact on the community of Montrose as well as the rec district family, touching people’s hearts, and he continues to do so,” said Amy Warthen, president of of the Montrose Recreation Foundation and an MRD Board District member, during the award ceremony.
“His impact to the community of Montrose and the rec district is huge. Honoring that, we wanted to not only recognize Connor, but we also wanted to recognize other young people that embody those same characteristics, and Ashlyn is above and beyond one of those kiddos. The award is one of those awards that, in honor and celebration of Connor Imus, it recognizes others who have an engaging attitude, exceptional work ethic and is an outstanding role model for others.”
Warthen was joined by Manuel and Justin Mashburn, youth recreation coordinator at MRD, all three standing on the pitcher’s mound in front of a crowd surrounding home plate.
“She has been a leader among her peers, in both the classroom, on the court and on the golf field. She is an exceptional athlete who can play at the next level if she chooses to. Her hard work and dedication to teammates is second to none. She has also had a Connor Imus as impact on the sports community beyond her own playing career,” said Justin Mashburn, youth recreation coordinator at MRD, during the ceremony.
Manuel shared her thoughts on being the first person to receive the award.
“It’s surprising because, compared to all of my coworkers and how close we were with Connor, I figured someone else would be chosen,” said Manuel, doing her best to hold back tears. “But, I worked alongside Connor for a long time in class and here at the rec center, and I got to know his family pretty well, too, so it’s just a huge honor to be given this and be chosen, not only by his family, but by my bosses.”