Garceau set again to MC awards banquet
They may not rush for 1,000 yards or score 1,000 points, but the winners of McCormick’s Unsung Heroes Award are some of the Baltimore area’s top young men and women
And with McCormick’s scholarship program, established over 70 years ago, selected young men and women have been able to better themselves through higher education.
One of the familiar faces at the banquet is master of ceremonies, Scott Garceau.
“It is really neat because everything you and I have been to has been the best player, the fastest player, the player who scores the most points,” Garceau said, comparing the McCormick banquet to others. “This really does honor kids who probably wouldn’t be in the spotlight.”
The 72nd McCormick Unsung Heroes Award ceremony will be held Monday, May 7, 2012 at 6 p.m. at the Baltimore Marriott Hunt Valley Inn. Local high schools -- public, private and parochial -- nominate an Unsung Hero from their football and girls basketball teams who has displayed noteworthy qualities such as sportsmanship, dedication, integrity and positive attitude.
Garceau made his transition into the MC position 18 years ago, stepping in for Vince Bagli, one of the great voices of Baltimore sports. Bagli, who retired from WBAL Channel 11 in 1995 after nearly a half century in the sportscasting business, was considered a backbone for the Unsung Heroes banquet.
Garceau has also garnered a place among the greats in Baltimore sports broadcasting, doing the sports segment for Channel 2's 6 and 11 p.m. news broadcasts for 28 years and was the first radio play-by-play announcer for the Ravens. He now co-hosts an afternoon drive time sports talk show on 105.7 FM The Fan.
“When I got here in the early 80s, Channel 2 used to televise [the banquet]; that’s how I originally got involved,” Garceau explained. “Keith Mills [former Channel 2 sportscaster] and I believed in covering high schools and local colleges, and we always felt that high school sports were really important, and this goes hand in hand with that.”
The scholarship is valued at $36,000. Both winners, one girl and one boy, will receive $9,000 per year for each of their four academic years.
It is Garceau’s job to not only direct the course of the night, but also say the name of each of the 119 award nominees, followed by the descriptions of the two winners.
Garceau also has the privilege of introducing a guest speaker for each year. Past speakers include college basketball analyst Dick Vitale, Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton, CBS Sports broadcaster James Brown, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, and T.C. Williams (VA) football coach Herman Boone, portrayed by Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans.
This year’s speaker is Byron Pitts, currently the chief national correspondent for the CBS evening news, as well as a contributor to the television news magazine 60 Minutes.
“I remember Brian Billick [former Baltimore Ravens coach] coming one year and the speaker that year was Art Berg, a world-class wheelchair athlete, who was partially paralyzed,” Garceau began. “Brian actually struck up a friendship with the guy and he was with the Ravens in their Super Bowl year. They actually had a Latin phrase that he used to talk about put on their championship ring.”
The inscription on the side of the ring, “INVICTUS”, means unconquerable.
“I think the kids might walk into it not knowing what it is really about, but when they get there, they are kind of taken back,” Garceau said, describing the evening. “Let’s face it, McCormick doesn’t have to do this, but they are committed to this program and I salute them for thinking about these kids who generally wouldn’t get more than a pat on the back.”
Every year is a pleasure for Garceau, who says that his run at the banquet is far from sight.
“I’ll keep showing up till they tell me not to,” Garceau laughed. “It is something I look forward to. They are all different, but McCormick is one of my favorites because of the kids they honor.”
For more information on the 2012 McCormick Unsung Heroes Banquet, please click here to visit the special banquet page here on VSN.
Last Updated (Monday, 14 November 2011 12:48)