Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Organization gains award for event promotion

Rocketship Sports helped launch Grand Lake Marathon

By Shelley Grieshop
Photo by Shelley Grieshop/The Daily Standard

Doug Moran holds the 2014 Ambassador Award he received Tuesday at the Auglaize and Mercer Counties Convention and Visitors Bureau awards luncheon in St. Marys. Rocketship Sports Management received the Stahr Award for organizing the Grand Lake Marathon in 2014.

ST. MARYS - Rocketship Sports Management was honored Tuesday for promoting area tourism by launching the Grand Lake Marathon in 2014.
The nonprofit Greenville-based organization was given the Stahr Award during the Auglaize and Mercer Counties Convention and Visitors Bureau annual luncheon at Otterbein St. Marys. Rocketship manager Roger Bowersock was unable to attend the presentation.
"This year's winner is a small, nonprofit, exceptional group of organizers with huge hearts, extraordinary passion and a longtime dream," presenter Pam Buschur of the Celina-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce said.
The Stahr Award is given to a group, organization or tourist industry company that makes outstanding contributions to the development of tourism in the two-county area.
The one-day Grand Lake Marathon in September generated more than $1 million in tourism and brought thousands of visitors to the area. It included a marathon and a half marathon along the lake's shore, as well as 10K, 5K and kid races. A second Grand Lake Marathon is set for September.
"The planning of this dream has been a long and tough road for this tireless group," Buschur said.
Some people doubted an event of such magnitude could be pulled off, she said. But the group "stayed true to their dream, weathered the storm" and worked around the clock to give the Grand Lake area an awesome inaugural event, Buschur added.
Rocketship Sports Management promotes and organizes athlete-focused cycling, running and multisport events in the area such as the Donut Dash and the Tour De Donut. New this year is the Shawshank Hustle, a 4-mile run/walk planned for July 25 at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield.
Bowersock and his organization this year were recognized by Sports Management Magazine with the Reader's Choice Award for "Stand Out Events."
Also on Tuesday, St. Marys businessman Doug Moran was given the 2014 Ambassador Award. The honor is given to an individual honored for significant contribution to the tourism industry and/or the support of the convention and visitors bureau.
"This year's ambassador award winner is a very active volunteer who works tirelessly for the convention and visitors bureau, his community and his church," said Tim Lovett, winner of the 2013 Ambassador Award.
He described Moran as a low-key guy with a humble demeanor who continually is willing to "step up, roll up his sleeves and take on tasks to make sure that good things continue to happen in our area."
"His wife will tell you he just can't say no," Lovett said.
Moran is a member, former president and current treasurer of the St. Marys Kiwanis Club and is involved with its annual Walk with Nature/Fall Festival along the Miami-Erie Canal. He also is the driving force behind the group's largest fundraiser - Kiwanis Pancake Day, he said.
Moran also is a former member and president of the St. Marys Chamber of Commerce and was "extremely active" in the St. Marys Summerfest for many years, Lovett noted. He also has received the coveted St. Marys Builder of Bridges Award for his work in the community, he added.
Lovett said Moran has a very active role in Holy Rosary Catholic Church, St. Marys, and has chaired several of its festival committees.
When asked to join the CVB board of trustees in 2005, most refrigeration and appliance store owners might not understand what tourism means to their business, Lovett said.
"But our winner knew that increasing visitors' spending is good for the entire area ... and he said yes," he said.
Moran has held several CVB positions including board president and currently is treasurer, Lovett said.
He is an avid boater and fisherman and one of his proudest moments was "besting" his brothers by snagging the Monster Carp in the 2013 Get the Carp Outta Here Tournament," Lovett said with a laugh.
CVB president Josh Hines told the crowd that Larry Stelzer was being honored with the Past President's Award for his work with the agency for more than 25 years. Stelzer also was unable to attend the luncheon.
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