Spencer, Pollard honored posthumously at inaugural Ann Spencer Awards Dinner


The families of Ann Lewallen Spencer and Dr. Harold Pollard accepted honors in their memory at the inaugural Ann Spencer Sports Connector Award s Dinner. The dinner was held on Thursday night at the Benton Convention Center in downtown Winston-Salem.

Over 300 friends, family members, and members of the Winston-Salem community attended the dinner to honor the two community leaders, who were posthumously honored for their work in connecting the Winston-Salem community through sports.

Spencer, who was known as "Annie" and is the award's namesake, was the owner of Goody's headache powders. She was instrumental in the company's involvement with NASCAR, involving the likes of racing legend and lifelong friend Richard Petty in the business as a spokesperson. She also was heavily involved with North Carolina Tar Heels athletics, befriending legendary coaches Dean Smith, Bill Guthridge and Roy Williams and attending countless games at her Alma Mater. She passed away in 2016.

Pollard, an obstetrician and gynecologist who passed away in November 2017, is the first recipient of the award. He was instrumental i n professional tennis events in Winston-Salem, starting with working behind the scenes at the Flow Motors Invitational in the 1980s. He would later serve as a organizer and volunteer at the city's two Davis Cup ties in 2001 and 2008, before becoming the Swiss Army Knife of volunteers at the Winston-Salem Open since its inception in 2011, helping get the courts ready, guiding players around the facility, and ensuring every volunteer felt valued. He was well known at the Winston-Salem Open for his signed t-shirt, which he would get signed by every volunteer at the tournament each year.

NSMA Hall of Famer Bob Ryan gave the dinner's keynote address, discussing how sports remain unique in an individual's pursuit of leisure due to the presence of the unknown. Told through the lens of the Boston sports Ryan has coved for over 50 years for the Boston Globe, specifically through Malcolm Butler's winning interception in Super Bowl XLIX for the New England Patriots, Ryan related how that sense of the unknown in sports cannot be found in things such as art, theatre, film, or books, which are all scripted and planned, and why that helps individuals connect communities with sports year after year.

Former WXII-12 anchor and North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Hall of Famer Cameron Kent served as master of ceremonies for the dinner. Ricky Shore of Aladdin Travel was the event's chair. Local business leaders Paul Fulton and John Burress were the event's honorary co-chairs.

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