Many of you know that we will be gathering this evening to honor Coach Vlad as he ventures to Europe this Summer to be with his family, including his new granddaughter. Ask him and he will assure you that this is NOT goodbye and that he already has his ticket to come back. This just seems the appropriate time to honor someone who has become a special part of our family, someone I affectionately call “Godfather”. I do believe he was sent to us through God’s intervention and we will be forever grateful for that.
When Vlad learned of Donna Kaye’s desire to coach, he took the opportunity to mentor her without hesitation. Starting BIO Gymnastics was on his recommendation that the timing was right. I still remember the first time I heard him coach in our new gym and how it warmed my heart. I have truly loved hearing “Correct!” or “Everyone! Watch this!” come from the gym floor these past four years which have truly flown by. I have enjoyed watching Donna Kaye grow into a great coach. I have enjoyed watching other proteges that Vlad has mentored develop highly successful programs and I am excited for the future that is in store for BIO. I am so incredibly grateful that we were the ones blessed with him and that my daughters took advantage of his knowledge and enthusiasm and became sponges every time he was around. I am grateful that we were the ones who recognized his value as a mentor, person, and friend. I am grateful that Donna Kaye chose this path, delaying college so that she could be Vlad’s protege, one of the best if I do say so myself.
We have been through a lot as the BIO family, these past four years. Incredible joys and incredible sorrow. I will continue to focus on this time as one of joy and try to honor Vlad’s wish about crying. It’s going to be hard not to cry, but it is now time for our gym to fly. With our dedicated staff, left with an unending amount of resources provided by Coach Vlad, we will continue to move forward and grow. Donna Kaye will move into a leadership role that she has literally been groomed for. Katie and Eleanor will continue in their leaderships roles as well, along with J-Hawk and the rest of our amazing staff.
I am an optimist, and I look forward to our bright future. One that will continue to include Coach Vlad and made possible by him.
I love you, Godfather.