The 2010 recipients of the prestigious Dale B. Lake Presidential Award have been named. This award is a yearly endeavor that honors KVCC's founding President, Dale B. Lake, by giving annual recognition to outstanding student-athletes at KVCC. Exceptional academic achievement, outstanding athletic contribution, and evidence of uncommon leadership and character are among the criteria for this award.
This year the lady recipient is tennis standout, Stephanie Fortney. The male recipient is baseball pitcher, Tim Bellmer.
Stevie is a 2008 graduate of Allegan High School. Coach Jim Van Zandt remarked, "Stevie clearly demonstrates the value of athletics in conjunction with the importance of academics, as she started college with a respectable 2.62 GPA in the Fall of 2008, but struggled academically in the Winter of 2009. After losing her eligibility, she battled back with a remarkable 3.81 over 8 hours in summer classes. This 2009-10 academic year she earned Dean's List honors both semesters, while leading her team to another national tournament appearance.
Coach Van Zandt said that "In my 16 years of coaching tennis at KVCC, no one has been more successful than Stevie." She was the 2008 and 2009 MCCAA State Singles Champion. Also, she was the MCCAA State Doubles Champion with Courtney Diebold in 2008 and the State Doubles Runner-up with Brittany Johnson in 2009. In 2008 Stephanie was also the Region XII 1st flight Singles Champion and the Region XII 1st flight Doubles Champion with Brittany Johnson. In the 2010 Nationals, Stevie and Brittany were 1st flight Doubles Consolation Runners-up.
Stephanie switched from Psychology to Business while at KVCC and is transferring to Davenport University in Grand Rapids where she will pursue a Baccalaureate Degree in Business. She has been awarded a scholarship in tennis and will participate in Davenport's intercollegiate women's tennis program.
Tim Bellmer is a 2008 graduate of Petoskey High School. He has completed 57 credit hours at KVCC with a perfect 4.0 GPA! Coach Bernie Vallier remarked, "Although Tim realized that his time on the mound would be limited this past season, he, nevertheless, continued to work hard in practice, dedicating himself to becoming a better player. His maturity as a player makes him a positive role model, not only for his teammates but also for all intercollegiate baseball players."
Tim's academic accomplishments allowed him to be one of the eight KVCC baseball players to make either the MCCAA Academic All Conference or MCCAA Academic All State Teams. Tim not only made those teams, but he also won NJCAA Distinguished Academic All American recognition.
Tim is planning to major in Accounting and is transferring to Michigan State University to continue his education. Coach Vallier has further stated that "Tim may have the best credentials of anyone I have nominated in the past seven years."
Athletic Director Dick Shilts notes that "Stevie and Tim are what college athletics are all about. They are uniquely close to being the best that they can be in their sport, and they have focused relentlessly upon achievement in the classroom. They help us re-emphasize what really matters in sport, and they stand as shining examples for all who participate in college sports to emulate. All of us at KVCC join with friends and family in congratulating them and wishing them continued successes."
Each recipient will be presented with a plaque signifying this honor, and their names will be engraved on a large plaque that is currently on display in the KVCC athletic office.