All of us can think of special individuals who always manage to find time to help other people.  14/WILI and the Mohegan Sun have a name for those special people.  They are Connecticut's RAYS OF SUNSHINE, and together we're paying tribute to them.   Hear acceptance interviews with many of our Ray of Sunshine winners by clicking here.  To nominate someone, simply email wayne @ or snail mail your entry to WILI Ray of Sunshine, 720 Main Street, Willimantic, Ct. 06226 with a few details on why your nominee is special.

Ron Pires

Ron Pires

Ron Pires is our November 2013 Ray of Sunshine award winner.  John Doiron's nomination letter said:

I am nominating Ron Pires for the Ray of Sunshine Award.  He is a teacher in the Canterbury School system and has been the Boy's Varsity Basketball Coach at E.O. Smith High School for over 30 years...mentoring many students and teaching life's lessons about the importance of work ethic, honesty and the importance of moral values.  He has kept the students, athletes and their families high on his priority list despite having to deal with some major personal health issues over the years... dialysis, kidney transplant, heart attack and a hip replacement.  Years after their graduations, former students and athletes continue to keep in contact with him and support him.

     At a recent home game, Ron's basketball team was winning by a considerable margin even though he was playing all of his players.  The opposing coach was also using all of his players, and at least one of the players appeared to be very inexperienced and challenged. The coach had used up all of his timeouts.  Ron, recognizing that the coach and his players needed more timeouts, told the coach that he could use E.O. Smith's remaining timeouts, which the coach graciously did to allow his players to play and learn.  (This was done legally.  When EOS got the ball, Ron would call a timeout.)

      Ron encourages his athletes to support the efforts of others.  Over the years, some of his athletes have volunteered as referees and clinicians for our Unified Basketball Team (a CIAC/Special Olympics sponsored team at E.O. Smith High School), cheer on the Special Olympians during their games and high five them in the hallways.  In this age of "winning is everything" it is truly refreshing to have a man like Ron pushing his players to excel while fostering true sportsmanship and a carryover of those moral values to all aspects of their lives.   He is a true role model for all of us and a treasure in our community.

Ray of Sunshine Archive:
November 2018 - Kathy Cote
August 2018 - Nicole Henry
May 2018 - Adrianne DeVivo
February 2018 - Mike and Glenn Morell
November 2017 - Phil Pavone
August 2017 - Pat Tolokan
May 2017 - Carolyn Stanich
February 2017 - Rita Perry
November 2016 - Jonathan Wadsworth
August 2016 - Marie Hakmiller
May 2016 - Lorraine Strenkowski
February 2016 - Alice Bury
December 2015 - Rosemarie Bessette
August 2015 - Tonya Landrie Ohlund
May 2015 - Karen Schenck
February 2015 - Maurice Simard
November 2014 - Dorothy Stevens
August 2014 - Phyllis Pintal
May 2014 - Karen Porter
March 2014 - Joan Merritt
November 2013 - Ron Pires
August 2013 - Dorothy Deptula
May 2013 - AnnMarie Poudrier
March 2013 - Frank Kristoff
January 2013 - Bil Czmyr
August 2012 - Patti Sue Brown
May 2012 - Bobbi Brown
February 2012 - Judy Prescott
November 2011 - Kathy Pekarovic
August 2011 - Dee and Dale Hammon
May 2011 - Sandy Reed
February 2011 - Rich Balogh
November 2010 - Lisa Baker Rose
September 2010 - Dan Hill
May 2010 - Susan Humes
February 2010 - Donna Charron
November 2009 - Pamela Bibeau
August 2009 - Joan Morin
June 2009 - Kay Roan
March 2009 - Marion Russo
December 2008 - Frank and Shirley Mauro
November 2008 - Charlene Perry
October 2008 - Angela LaTour
September 2008 - Joan Goba
August 2008 - Donna Clauson
July 2008 - Rosa Tirado
June 2008 - Barbara Leary
May 2008 - Kord Baker
April 2008 - Joe Henry
March 2008 - Barbara Colon
February 2008 - Charlie Wynn
January 2008 - Jessica Medina
December 2007 - Linda Harbec
November 2007 - Richard Kelley
October 2007 - Lynn White
September 2007 - Paul Doyle
July 2007 - Pam Horrocks
June 2007 - Lauren Perrotti
May 2007 - Jean DeSmet
April 2007 - Gen Micali
February 2007 - Belinda Clark
January 2007 - Miriam Epstein
December 2006 - Anita Sebestyen
November 2006 - Eileen Spear
October 2006 - Monique Roy
September 2006 - Helen Card
August 2006 - Joan Doiron
July 2006 - Roddy McComber
June 2006 - Tom Beardsley
May 2006 - Victor and Martha Funderburk
March 2006 - Barry Shayer
February 2006 - Judith Jencks
January 2006 - Ray Milvae
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