The Darien Old Timers Athletic Association will put eight honorees in the spotlight when it holds its 57th annual Sports Award Dinner on Monday, Nov. 12, at 6:15 p.m. at The Water’s Edge at Giovanni’s in Darien.
This year’s honorees are Dick Costello, Mac Budd, Jim Case, Doug Lawrence, Kimberly Lynn Martini Karas, Mike Baldwin, Susan Warren, and Meredith E. Koch.
The event recognizes the accomplishments of Darien athletes, coaches, and other individuals who support the opportunity for athletics to be part of the educational and community experience in Darien. The dinner helps the Darien Old Timers fund scholarships for Darien High School student-athletes and provide monetary support to other local programs that have a recognized need. It is also a time to meet with old friends and to reminisce about days gone by.
Last year, the Darien Old Timers Athletic Association awarded $7,500 to the DHS scholarship program and $3,000 to the Darien Human Services Department.
Costello was a former star DHS athlete, earning varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball, and All-FCIAC honors in football and baseball. He also played Little League and Babe Ruth League Baseball, earning All-Star recognition. Costello attended the United States Naval Academy, serving as both a General Line and Supply Corps officer, and retiring as a well-decorated captain. Following his Navy career, he worked as a senior executive for defense contractors BAE Systems IT and Serco.
Budd was a former three-sport DHS athlete, earning varsity letters in football, ice hockey, and baseball. He played on FCIAC championship teams in each sport and was part of the undefeated state championship team in 1979. Budd attended Amherst College, where he was a varsity athlete in football and baseball, with his teams winning the Little Three Championships. Following college, Budd worked in the financial industry as bond trader in the U.S. Treasury market.
Case starred at DHS as a varsity baseball pitcher and was the winning pitcher for the 1970 Darien Babe Ruth League team, which won the New England Championship against the highly-favored All-Star team from Puerto Rico. He attended Colgate University, where he continued to play baseball. Case graduated from St. John’s University Law School in 1980, and relocated to Detroit, Mich., where he works in commercial, contract, construction, and surety law for Kerr, Russell, and Webster, PLC.
Lawrence played varsity football and baseball at DHS, where he was a member of the 1971 FCIAC championship baseball team. He was also very active in the local Darien Little League and Babe Ruth League teams, playing centerfield on the 1971 Babe Ruth All-Star team which won the CT State Championship and advanced to the New England Regionals. Lawrence earned a B.S. in business administration from Bryant College and an MBA from Rockhurst College in Kansas City. He is a CPA who has been practicing in Darien for 27 years. He is also a longtime Little League coach in Rowayton and Darien.
Kimberly Martini Karas
Karas is the Female Achievement Honoree who was an All-Star Softball player for DHS and Darien Lassie League teams. She graduated from Mount Saint Mary College with a B.S. in nursing. While there, she was honored by the U.S. Navy for community service. Following graduation, Karas worked at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, Greenwich Woods Health Care Center and Pear Tree Point School before becoming a school nurse for the Darien Board of Education. She is a 32-year member of the Darien Fire Department, is the first female member of the department, and has served as VP and on the Board of Trustees.
Baldwin is the Male Achievement Honoree who earned his fame as a very successful international motorcycle racing champion. He won five AMA Superbike Formula 1 Championship titles, was the first rider to win three Suzuki 8 Hours races, and had 16 AMA National wins. Baldwin is the sales manager for Woodstock Harley Davidson, Kingston, N.Y.
Warren is the Community Achievement Honoree who served as the executive director of the Darien Emergency Medical Services/Post 53 and director of Ambulance Services for Darien for 20-plus years, as well as the leader of Ballet With Susan Warren, which taught ballet to many Darien youths. She lives in Lake Sunapee, N.H., where she is the executive director of The Fells Historic Estate and Gardens.
Koch is the James Carlson Achievement Honoree, which is given for overcoming adversity. Meredith is a graduate of Greens Farms Academy (with honors), Boston College (B.S. in biology), and the University of Vermont (M.S. in mechanical engineering), and was a high school varsity field hockey and softball player. During her school years, she volunteered as an EMT with the Darien EMS/Post 53, the Stamford Hospital Emergency Department, and the Colchester (VT) Rescue Squad.
In 2015, Koch suffered severe injuries while helping friends move: An upright piano fell on her, breaking her back and leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Since that terrible accident, she has undergone major surgeries and rehabilitated herself to the point she can walk and compete in Paralympic swimming. Koch now serves as an active spokesperson for raising awareness and funds for adaptive sports, and has won awards for her uplifting advocacy.
Tickets for the dinner are available for $70 per person or $700 for a table of 10.
For tickets, contact Joe Warren at 203-940-3296, Bill Peters at 203-536-1455, or Ed Schildnecht at 203-940-1399.
Tickets can also be purchased on Facebook at www.facebook.com/darienoldtimers/events or
at Eventbrite.com. A service fee will be added to the cost of tickets purchased online.