Danny Alvarez accepts the Charlie Castro Youth Basketball Volunteer Award from Community Services Supervisor Beverly Ruiz, who presented the recognition at the March 6 City Council meeting.

Charlie Castro Award recognizes Youth Basketball Coach Alvarez

March 17, 2017
Santa Paula News

With 360 participants on 48 teams it’s not easy to choose the recipient of the Charlie Castro Award for Youth Basketball Volunteer Award but Danny Alvarez’s dedication cinched the prize this year.

Recreation Supervisor Beverly Ruiz introduced Alvarez to the City Council at the March 6 meeting.

Youth basketball, she noted, ran for eight weeks, a program made possible by “Staff, volunteers and parents…at the end of the season,” the decision is made who will be awarded the Charlie Castro Award.

The late Castro, “Was a Santa Paula resident involved for many, many years in sports,” programs for youth.

The award was created in his honor to recognize those who mirror his dedication, enthusiasm, understanding, knowledge and leadership to youth and the game.

“His biggest attribute was being a role model to youth,” and Ruiz said Alvarez has demonstrated all the attributes that made him the unanimous choice of Community Services staff to receive the award.

“Danny clearly demonstrates how to be a good coach by showing players how to enjoy the sport,” as well as how to play well.  

“I’m deeply honored,” said Alvarez. “For me, basketball” is a wonderful sport, especially coupled with youth.

“I still play at Teague Park, I’m out there with the kids, and I always involve them. The past two seasons my teams hadn’t won any games and I thought this would be another one of those seasons,” but Alvarez said, “I changed my strategy to be more positive.

“Lo and behold I started to see results, they started winning the whole year. I just changed my tactics,” and the players responded.

“Thank you,” he added, “I appreciate it.”

Ruiz said the Youth Basketball Program would not be possible without the supporters including Jerry Burns, who sponsors one team in each division.

Ruiz also gave “special thanks to the Santa Paula Fire Fighters Association (SPFFA) who has sponsored the program for many, many years.” 

The contributions of the SPFFA have been a “huge part of our program. I really wanted to thank them…I don’t think people recognize them as much as the they deserve,” for their low-profile fundraising by donating and barbecuing the food for program fundraisers.

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