The tournament is the brainchild of DSS teacher and coach, Jim Lawrence who has organized the event for each of its 22 years. This year is Jim’s 35th year in teaching (all at DSS) and in June, he plans to retire. For many of the basketball alumni, this was their chance to say thanks for all that Jim has done not only as a teacher and a coach, but as a man whose efforts have built a strong sense of community among this particular group of alumni.
|Jim Lawrence - Gold Medal Pacer|
Few are more appreciative than the Charles Family, whose late brother Anesto was an outstanding basketball player at DSS and a much loved member of the Pacer basketball fraternity. The Pacer Alumni Tournament and associated events have raised thousands of dollars for both the Anesto Charles Memorial Scholarship and the Anesto Charles Foundation, which provides young people the opportunity to attend summer sports camps when their family’s financial circumstances may not have allowed for it. Jim has been instrumental in spearheading these efforts and sits on the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Marlene Charles has never missed an Alumni Tournament and credits Jim for creating a great legacy in the community. “Jim is deeply committed to DSS and the Ladner community. Look at all the alumni who have become coaches and teachers themselves. Credit Jim, for encouraging and supporting them."
The weekend included the opportunity on Saturday afternoon for photographs with the 2010 Olympic Medals. Teck Resources, makers of the medals for the Vancouver Games, who through their Olympic Legacy Program provided alumni and their families a chance to get up close to these symbols of athletic excellence with proceeds from donations going towards the tournament scholarship fund.
Looking back, I’m incredibly fortunate to be a part of the Pacer basketball family. Over the years, our annual get togethers have evolved to include our children and our extended families and we’ve grown through our connections with each other. I’ve also greatly benefitted from my 27 year association with Jim Lawrence - my teacher, my colleague and my friend. Jim embodies passion, loyalty, and commitment to the Pacer Community like few others. We’ll be sad to see him retire, but he’s created an impressive legacy.