For many people, the name “Dorothy” conjures up images of a sweet, kindhearted, optimistic young girl from Kansas. Our Cresthaven Dottie was all that and more. Never was there a more cheerful and optimistic person, even in the worst of circumstances, whether it was a ski trip disaster or her own long battle with the illness that finally took her from us. To say she could light up a room with her smile is the grossest understatement. It is almost impossible to describe the warmth and goodness that radiated from Dottie and made everyone around her feel special and appreciated. Beyond Dottie’s service contributions to the club, joining in the early seventies and serving as Secretary for innumerable terms, her greatest contribution was her indomitable spirit and cheerful attitude. Every member was always greeted with a smile and a comment that singled them out and made them feel welcome.
We lost Dottie in 2004, but she will not be forgotten. We have added an annual award in her honor; the “Dorothy Sellitto Spirit Award.” Each year it will be given to the member who best epitomizes Dottie’s spirit, and exemplifies the camaraderie, kindness and positive attitude that Dottie consistently provided and fostered in the Club.
By Jean Connolly
Dottie Sellito Award Recipients:
2004 - Bob Longo
2005 - Pete Wolf
2006 - Barbara Cariello
2007 - Keith Bose
2008 - Gerard Pettit
2009 - Darlene Singlemann
Additional Cresthaven Ski Club Awards: John Baxter Award
Profiles of Past Recipiants:
- 2008’s recipient is definitely one of the most improved skiers since joining the Club several years ago.
- He served as part of the Summer Meister Committee, helping to organize our off-season activities this past year.
- As race director, he organized the race events, set up head to head challenges, and awarded the “I Suck” t-shirt when appropriate.
- He has entertained us with his ideas for unusual inventions like flashing golf balls for night play, dead-on imitations of some Club members, Irish music (well, maybe!) and tales of getting his back waxed.
- This year’s recipient was a former ski meister for the Club and he runs a trip every year.
- On the slopes, he inspires us to challenge ourselves by following him – very often to our detriment! And he makes it look way too easy!
- Generally the first on and last off the mountain – even in bad weather.
- If there’s a race, he’s always the fastest.
- As an “exit 49er”, he can always be counted on the stock the coolers and have them ready for those of us who get on in Queens.
- He always finds a way to elevate any social event to a new level – whether it’s coercing the participants of a simple friendly wager on a Club race to include appearing in public without pants; or taking a karaoke performance and turning it into an “R” rated dance routine. Anything for a laugh!
- This year’s recipient has been in the Club for many years, longer than most of us can remember.
- Whenever there is a new member on a trip, or someone who doesn’t have anyone to ski with, we can always count on her to volunteer to ski with them – and we don’t have to worry if she’ll be on the trip since she goes on almost all of them.
- If someone forgets to bring food for the ride up, she’s the first to offer half of hers and she never forgets to thank the trip leaders for their efforts.
- I’ve never heard her complain, no matter what happens. Any adversity becomes a funny story she regales us with at our next gathering, even when she broke her leg on a trip – one of several injuries that earned her the nickname “Crash”.
- Just like the Energizer Bunny, she keeps going and going.
- Whenever there is a Cresthaven function, whether it’s a ski trip, golf outing, canoeing, or one of our summer happy hours, you can almost always count on this year’s recipient being there.
- Since his retirement, he has been sporting a different look, more fitting with his other passion – motorcycling.
- He has entertained us with his corny jokes on the bus rides and in the bar after a day of skiing. Once, when the video player on the bus refused to work, he led the bus in a sing-along to pass the time.
- Participation was ensured when he refused to let anyone go to the bathroom or get a beverage out of the cooler unless they told a joke or sang a song.
- Since taking the role of race coordinator, he has encouraged all to participate in the various races – Met Council, LIASC and the Club race – ensuring those who were tentative that the races are nothing to be afraid of and are a lot of fun (especially our Club race!).