The Community Foundation of Boone County is honored to pay tribute to Lionel Dubay each year.  Lionel was an enthusiastic supporter of Zionsville youth sports.  In addition to coaching his 2 kids in various sports, he was an active member of Little League and Youth Soccer Association and was instrumental in starting pee-wee football in Zionsville.  In every outlet, Lionel remained enthusiastically devoted to making it fun and worthwhile for the kids.  He did it unselfishly and without recognition – an unsung hero, according to his friends.

Lionel’s life was tragically cut short in a car accident in 1985.  His close friends and amateur sports colleagues wanted to keep his spirit alive and do something to give back to the community, so determined to direct all memorial donations toward a fund which would improve and enhance amateur sports in the Zionsville community.  This fund, administered by the Community Foundation, provides for an award given in Lionel’s memory, annually recognizing a kindred spirit – another unsung hero – making a significant contribution to the lives of Zionsville kids by actively supporting youth sports.

This year’s award recipient truly epitomizes the spirit of Lionel Dubay.  Bob Walters was nominated by his wife, Michelle, who sums it up when she says, “Zionsville has many great youth sports volunteers, but few have dedicated so much volunteer time to so many different sports over so many years.”

He has served in almost every capacity – from maintenance to umpire – for various leagues and sports, including baseball, football, t-ball and softball, where he led the 14U Little League team to a state championship title last year.  Bob has been a very successful coach, but his greatest legacy is the fun and inclusion that he brings to all sports.

Bob’s simple sports philosophy is, “Play hard, have fun, and always do your best!”  According to his son regarding football, “Everyone who was eligible to touch the ball got to run the ball.”  This speaks volumes about his desire to include all in the fun of the sport!  When out in public, Bob always encounters youth of all skill levels, teens, young adults and parents who fondly call him “Coach.”

It was an honor for the Community Foundation to present Bob Walters with the 2015 Lionel Dubay Youth Sports Award, which includes a $450 grant for the Zionsville youth sports organization of his choice.  Congratulations, Coach Walters!