The Darien Old Timers Athletic Association will hold its 56th Annual Sports Award Dinner on Monday, Nov. 13, at 6:15 p.m.  at The Water’s Edge at Giovanni’s. The dinner is to recognize 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, to raise funds to provide scholarships for Darien High School [DHS] student-athletes, and to provide monetary support to other local programs that have a special need. It is also a time to meet with old friends and to reminisce about days gone by.

The honorees this year include Rick Poccia, Perry Pierce, Charlie Bounty, Cappy Craig Waters, Tom O’Donnell, Fran Principe, and Mitch Longley.  

Rick Poccia is a local honoree who was a former star Darien High School athlete, whose 4 x 220 yard relay Darien High School record still stands. He played varsity football and Track at DHS, and baseball in Darien’s Little and Babe Ruth Leagues’ All-Star Teams. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, and served 6 years active and 5 years in the Reserves. Following his service obligations, Rick has enjoyed a very successful banking career in the midwest.

Perry Pierce is a local honoree who was very involved in Darien HS’s formalizing of their student athletic trainers program. He was active in baseball at Carnegie Mellon University, and participated as a sports broadcaster and writer for their media outlets. Perry has been, and continues to be, a passionate supporter of Darien Little League Programs, from Little League to Babe Ruth League to Little League Softball, as well as serving as an officer and board director at local and state levels.

Charlie Bounty is a local honoree who was a former star Darien High School Football player as a  member of the 1979 undefeated FCIAC and CT Class L Champions, an All FCIAC First Team Player [1978 & 1979], a New Haven Register First Team All State Player [1979], the Bridgeport post defensive player of the year [1979], and a NY Daily News First Team CT Player [1979]. He also served as a captain for the DHS wrestling and Track & Field Teams in 1979, gathering more honors in both sports. Charlie was a standout player in varsity football for both Rutgers University and URI, and signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys but couldn’t play due to a back injury. He is currently employed in the general aviation field with Gama Aviation.

Capp Craig Waters is the female achievement honoree who was a former DHS, highly ranked 1 meter diving champ in CT High School ranks, being on All FCIAC and All CIAC First Team/Diving, as well as a nationally ranked 1 and 3 meter diving champ in college NCAA, being on NCAA Division 1 female all american and ACC first team/Diving Teams. She served as Diving Team Captain in her Senior years at DHS and at Clemson University. Cappy has also been actively involved at the Middlesex Club in their very successful swimming and diving programs.  

Tom O’Donnell is the Male Achievement Honoree who has been the head coach of the DHS boys varsity golf team for 27 years, during which time they have complied a 601-192-11 record, and went undefeated in 11 regular season matches in 2011. He is a graduate of both Western CT University (BS, music Education) and Fairfield University (MS, Educational Administration), and has been a Music Teacher in the Darien School System since 1980.  Tom has been recognized for golf coaching prowess on numerous occasions, and was the first Golf Coach inducted into the FCIAC Hall of Fame in 2016.

Fran Principe is the Community Achievement Honoree who serves as one of the ministry heads of the hugely successful weekly Community Supper at Darien’s own Saint Luke’s Parish. The Community Supper is peopled by a cadre of volunteers who cook, set up, serve, take down, and otherwise support neighbors in need of an inexpensive, nutritious dinner served in a warm and friendly environment. Fran is a Surface Paint & Fabric Designer who has worked for and with some of the most renowned fabric designers in the world. She has always been a very active volunteer at Saint Luke’s Parish.

Mitch Longley is the James Carlson achievement award honoree, given for overcoming adversity. He is a Rowayton resident who was in an automobile accident in his teens who is now an accomplished TV and film star. Mitch continued to play tennis following his injury, participated in intramural athletics while attending Northeastern University, and winning and being runner-up in several wheelchair tennis tournaments throughout the Unites States after graduation.

Tickets are available for $70 per person or tables for 10 for $700 by calling Harold Curtis at 203-655-7073, Greg Palmer at Palmer’s Market at 203-655-2077, Bill Peters at 203-536-1455, or Joe Warren at 203-940-3286.