Joel Smith – 2019 Rauhman Browning Award Recipient
Rauhman Browning was one of the founding members of DIVA. For those who knew him he was a dedicated friend and had vast integrity with enough wit to charm the entire room. Rauhman passed away in 1993 a mere 3 years into the infancy of DIVA. Rauhman was one of the originators of the Miss DIVA show. He never wanted it to be know as a pageant or contest, but as a way for DIVA the organization to become not only a well respected volleyball league but an organization that cared about our community. So by forming Miss DIVA it was his way to make DIVA a philanthropic organization, and used Miss DIVA as the channel to do just that. He was the true “Spirit of DIVA“
Upon his passing the DIVA Board of Directors renamed what was known as the DIVA Hall of Fame to be forever know as the Rauhman Browning Award. This award is given as the highest award to a member of DIVA for their Outstanding Service, Dedication, Spirit and Sportsmanship to DIVA. It is presented annually at DIVA’s Spring Awards Banquet and is given to a non board member who exemplifies the qualities listed above.
Joel Smith is the 2019 Rauhman Browning Award Recipient. Joel joined DIVA in the Spring of 2001 after being recruited on the street corner in Oaklawn outside of Hunky’s. He was hooked from the moment he stepped on the court. He served 3 years as Division Rep and 6 years as the Vice President of Membership. As VP Of Membership, Joel continued the tradition of street recruiting and getting the DIVA name out into the community. Joel continues to be an active member, even while not serving on the board. During his free time he organizes “Open Play” at the City Gyms and is an active member of “Courts of Kaos”. This year marks Joel’s 19th year in DIVA. He as been a captain for most of that time and has a collection of medals that anyone would envy.
When asked about what he liked best about DIVA, he said “I like being with such a diverse group”.
On behalf of the 2108-2019 Board of Directors, we thank you for your dedication to DIVA.
Please make sure to thank Joel for all he has done for the league the next time you see him.