Awards Ceremony, 2003

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OOC: To begin, I'd like to thank everyone for their participating in our group over the past year. Nine years of Star Trek and amazing community have produced the highest quality RPG on the internet today. Congratulations to everyone for their hard work and perseverance.

Those who we honor today have done their very best to ensure that others around them have the chance to enjoy this group. These folks are the role models for their comrades, and show us what is good about UFOP: StarBase 118.

The first award I wish to present is the James T. Kirk Cross. Forged in the fires of Mount Doom -- er, sorry, wrong ceremony. This award is given to a new captain whose career seems to be going nowhere but up. Dedicated, loyal, and clearly enjoying all the spoils of captaincy, this officer has earned the respect of the Executive Council, and indeed those who are on his crew. Some words from his previous captain, Fleet Captain Hebron:

"For the past few months, Captain Day-Van Pel Nekkar has been forging ahead with the StarBase Ops SIM. He has proven himself to be a great leader in the eyes of his fellow captains and crew. He continually brings out the strength in, not only his own character, but in others as well. He creates a great simming atmosphere and encourages creativity and unwaivoring support from his crew.

"Nekkar's strength is in his ability to introduce new and exciting ideas into the sim. He keeps his members interested in the sim and that plunges them into simming more and more. Usually when a ship first starts, there can be confusion, but in Nekkar's command, that has not been the case. Ops continued on as one of the more active sims in UFOP. He is dedicated to the sim and to our group."

To show our gratitude for his work, and to acknowledge that he is on the path to greatness, we award Captain Day-Van Pel Nekkar with the James T. Kirk Cross.

The Karagite Order of Heroism has only been awarded to one other staff member in our history: Rear Admiral Brian Kelly. This is an award for those who "have shown conspicious heroism in defense of Federation worlds and their populations in times of conflict," and this recipient certainly has done just that -- at least in a metaphorical sense. In the last six months, Captain Draigon has truly risen to the challenge of being a captain of the fleet, following in the footsteps of a UFOP legend, this award's previous recipient Brian Kelly.

Draigon has earned the respect of his peers through his consistent and even temperament. In a time of crisis for his crew, he "circled the wagons" and led by example. We have no better way to show our appreciation for a captain who has conspicuous and admirable loyalty to our group than to award him with the Karagite Order of Heroism. Congratulations, Captain.

Next, I would like to recognize a "set" of award winners. LtCmdr. Rocar Drawoh, LtCmdr. Rhys Bejain, LtCmdr. Varaan, and Commander Mal Avatar have all shown, with great enthusiasm, what it means to be an amazing First Officer. In fact, the Executive Council was so impressed with their abilities and performance over the past year that we decided to bend the rules of the Awards Ceremony to allow them all to be awarded the Strange Medallion. Their accomplishments include leading away teams, organizing plots, welcoming new officers to the ship, keeping the ship's roster up to date, creating websites, participating in training, and so much more.

With this award having only been awarded to two officers previously, we hope that these four officers will set the standard for future winners.

The next award to be presented is called the "Xalor Clan Xifilis Award," named after a respected SIMmer who passed away in 2000. The award is meant to honor any SIMmer who overcomes a real-life challenge to continue SIMming. The writer of Xalor played his character for a good deal of time while struggling with cancer. He unfortunately lost his battle. We bestow this award on those who continue to show us what it means to triumph in adversity.

Two members have earned this honor in 2003. LtCmdr. Gwendolyn Hilzarie of the USS Constitution-B, honored by her captain after having dealt with the loss of a family member. The honor is also given to Lieutenant T'Preen, of the USS Titan. Some thoughts from her current captain, Theo Draigon:

"There are many reasons why I believe T'Preen deserves the 'Xalor Clan Xifilis' award. She has been through a lot in real life over this last year. After having dealt with some difficult circumstances, she then became ill and soon found out she had stomach cancer. I lost complete contact with her during this time, as did everyone in the UFOP. She finally contacted me and we openly talked about her situation. I had her return along with the arrival of a new group of ensigns. She came back and in her first sim I knew the old T'Preen was back. She involved her own illness in the current plot and had her character reporting back to duty after a long medical stay on Vulcan. She knew from the get-go that her old position of Chief Science Officer was already taken, so she took a lesser position as assistant CSO. She was always respectful of her Chief and actually helped him along OOC. When RL stepped in and took that CSO away from us for a time there was never a hesitation on my part to give her the position back.

"As she has beaten this cancer she has also shown her resolve as a simmer. She constantly tries to get others involved in the plot. She puts her own little twists on the main plot line which are both well thought out and very interesting. T'Preen is still undergoing treatment for her cancer, but since her return has never wavered from her duty to this group and the ship. She has helped me enormously with some of the OOC duties of the ship, mostly dealing with people who are having trouble simming. She is always there to send them a message and offer a helping hand. I will tell you this, not one of us, including myself, love this group anymore than she does. She would rather never sim again than see this group to split up. She has overcome quite a lot in her life never mind this year. I'd like to think that we as a group have as much strength as she has."

To Hilzarie and T'Preen, we give the Xalor Clan Xifilis Award, for their determination in the face of catastrophe, and their motivation to provide a positive example for others.

Now, for the presentation of two more awards, some words from RAdml. Hollis Caley:

"Best known as Lt. Tekra, Tekra is a Captain and former Administrator of UFOP. Previous winner of the Surak Star, Cpt. Tekra has a well deserved reputation as an eccentric. ;-) Beyond that, he has always been level-headed and a force for moderation in the club. Last year as UFOP broke ties with a long time allied group, Cpt. Tekra worked with both sides to maintain a sense of calm and understand. It is with pleasure that I present Lt. Tekra with the Federation Peace Medal for a career of promoting understanding."

"In 2380 long time member and Captain Mike James stepped down from the Ronin due to increasing time constraints. Nevertheless, he has continued to be consistently active on the Captain's Council, sim for Cpt. James on the UFOP Forums, and begin a new character. The combination of simming a character Missing In Action, the grace with which he retired, and his continued dedication to the club recommends him for the Captain Janeway Award. I present Captain James with the Captain Janeway Award, and wish him continued sucess."

The next officer we wish to commend is Captain Jessa Anassasi. Even before becoming a Captain, Jessica Anassasi took on the OOC challenge of our fleet's training. This, a tireless task, she has succeeded-in monumentally. Since her appointment to the position, there has been a good deal of positive change, including the addition of a more permanent assistant staff base for training, as well as a much larger group of willing and able training officers. We can only say that things have changed for the better, and we couldn't be happier about it. For "advancing peaceful relations with newly discovered life forms" (cadets, that is ;) , we award Captain Jessa Anassasi with the Shuvalis Diamond of Recognition.

It is also the Executive Council's pleasure to acknowledge the promotion of Anassasi to the rank of Fleet Captain. Beyond her work with training, she has also become an active member of the boards, and has been integral in a number of sub-committees. Seemingly a woman of infinite motivation, we are proud to have her a part of our staff, and hope to see her with us for many years to come.

Finally, there is one last award to present. Long in history and weighty in meaning, this is the highest honor that can be given to any staff member. Although UFOP thrives on its community organization, and has shown that it can outlast any individual, this award is a reminder that we simply would not be where we are without the long-lasting motivation of a small number of very key members. This award marks the point at which one of our admirality has created an everlasting section in the history-book of UFOP: we are here because he has been a part of our group, and we will always remember his contributions. For these things, the Executive Council is happy to present Rear Admiral Hollis Calley with the Picard Award.

The Executive Council extends a warm thank-you to all those who have made UFOP: StarBase 118 RPG what it is today. We've had an amazing year, and it is our hope that our 10th year will mark the beginning of a new era for our group: one of new prosperity, new opportunities, and continued success.