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Tucson, AZ, WPH Press, 11/7/18- In partnership with by KOLD and iHeart Media, Rancho Sahuarita honored Fred Lewis Foundation (FLF) Executive Director and Head Coach Abraham Montijo with the Create a Better Life award to “recognize community members who help others, give back, and go out of their way to create a better life for someone else.”
Coach Montijo was surprised with a special ceremony before the Wednesday night FLF handball team practice, greeted by his entire FLF handball team, assistant coaches, parents, and lifetime friends. “Wow, I definitely did not expect this,” stated a ‘blown away’ Montijo. “None of this would be possible without you guys, so thank you.”
“I first met Abe when I started playing handball at the Tucson Racquet Club,” recalled Jeremy Sharpe. “Right away, I saw his compassion, empathy, and leadership. What amazed me most was not his coaching ability or handball skills, but rather his ability to connect with all types of kids, at all levels. Over the years, I’ve seen him console players after tough losses, hold players accountable and celebrate victories and accomplishments…both on an off the court.”
“I first met Abe when I was playing basketball at Freedom Park (in Tucson) and he asked me to play handball,” stated longtime FLF team member and Montijo protégé Ivan Lugo. “I’ve been playing ever since and I’m so grateful to be a part of this community and sport.”
“As a mother, it’s very difficult to keep your kids on the straight and narrow, especially in their teenage years,” stated one proud mother; whose child is apart of Team FLF. “Abraham has provided an opportunity for my kids to be active and stay on the straight and narrow and I am so grateful for all that Abraham has done. Thank you.”
“Because of Abraham, we have a flourishing program of junior handball players that is known throughout the world,” stated FLF namesake and handball hall of fame member Fred Lewis. “People know that we are going to show up and represent at the Four Wall Junior Nationals and all of the big events around the country and that is because of the work Abraham does with our great group of kids.”
“When the Yes 2 Kids program started so many years ago we had so much enthusiasm and hope to start new players in handball,” stated an emotional Chuy Manual. “Abraham has maintained that enthusiasm and continued to grow the sport and the results are just outstanding. We are all so proud of him.”
On behalf of the WPH and all of the Tucson handball players and worldwide handball players, thank you to Abraham Montijo for serving as an incredible ambassador, coach, and promoter to the game we all love.
WPH Senior Writer
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