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Lauren Chamberlain and Justin Wren Named 2017 Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award Recipients

Courtesy Margaret Butler

VIP CELEBRITIES: Playing important roles in the 2017 Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award event are, from left, Gene T. Martin, Iba committee co-chair; Justin Wren, 2017 male recipient; Lauren Chamberlain, 2017 female recipient; Chris Herren, keynote speaker; Tyler Lockett, 2016 male recipient; Madeline Manning Mims, 2016 female recipient; Shannon Miller, keynote speaker (1994 first female recipient); Chris Lincoln, master of ceremonies; and Kacey King, Iba committee co-chair.


GTR Newspapers photo


The Rotary Club of Tulsa’s major fundraiser was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa with a sold-out crowd of over 700 in attendance. The Iba Awards annually recognize a male and female athlete who have excelled in their sport and are personally involved and dedicated to helping others.

Honored at this year’s event were two professional athletes: Lauren Chamberlain, USSSA Pride professional fast pitch player who helped lead the University of Oklahoma Sooners to the National Championship in 2013, and Mixed Martial Artist Justin Wren, Bellator Heavyweight Contender and former UFC fighter.

Presenting the awards were last year’s recipients: former gold and silver Olympic medalist in track Madeline Manning Mims, the only American woman to bring back a gold medal in the 800-meter run, and pro bowler Tyler Lockett, NFL Seattle Seahawks wide receiver and former wide receiver for the Kansas State Wildcats.

Shannon Miller, the most decorated Olympic gymnast in American History and first female recipient of the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award in 1994, and Chris Herren, former NBA player for the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics, were the keynote speakers. The master of ceremonies was Chris Lincoln, an American sportscaster, former sports director and sports programming producer.

Advisory Board co-chairs Coach Scott Sutton and Coach Sean Sutton presented the Tulsa-area high school citizen athlete awards, now named the Eddie Sutton Tustenuggee Awards. The recipients were Ote Staton who played for the Metro Christian Academy Patriots varsity baseball team and Stephanie Royer who was a senior girls’ golfer with Union Public Schools. Each recipient received a $2,500 college scholarship, plus all nineteen nominees attended and received a swag bag with autographed books and gift cards. Culligan of Tulsa was the Eddie Sutton Tustenuggee Awards sponsor.

Other celebrities attending the event included Coach Mike Boynton, Marcus Dupree, Melvin Gilliam, Burns Hargis, Jamelle Holieway, Mark Moore, Coach Paul Mills, Coach Matilda Mossman, Mike Rozier, Billy Sims, Uwe von Schamann and Advisory Board Chairman Emeritus Eddie Sutton.

The event started with a VIP celebrity reception in the Sky Room followed by a general reception, both sponsored by CommunityCare. The dinner and awards presentation was held in the Sequoyah Ballroom. Gold sponsors were AAON, Inc.; BancFirst; Bumgarner Asset Management, L.L.C.; Butler & Butler Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations and Sensus Marketing; The Consultants, LTD, DoubleTree by Hilton Tulsa Downtown; Final Touch Cleaning; Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa; Jasco Products Company; Mabrey Bank, The Margarita Group; Moran Family Foundation; Will Smith; Grant Thornton LLP, Tulsa World Media Company, We B Trees and Williams.

The National Anthem was performed a cappella by professional artist and vocalist Joe Everson, from South Carolina, who has been featured on Fox & Friends.

A special surprise award was presented to Ron and Margaret Butler in recognition of their contributions to the Iba Awards since its inception 24 years ago. Margaret accepted the award on behalf of her late husband, Ron Butler.

Proceeds benefitted the Rotary Club of Tulsa Foundation, Aim High Academy, Community Trust Champions and Oklahoma Firefighters Burn Camp. More info is available at ibaawards.com.

Updated 07-24-2017

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