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10:15 a.m. - Special appearance by Alex Gordon
11:15 a.m. - Luncheon and awards presentation featuring Byron Pitts
The D.J.’s Hero Scholarship Awards are named in memory of D.J. Sokol, who lost his battle with cancer in 1999 at age 18. D.J. is remembered for his passion for life, his engaging sense of humor and his selfless focus on family, friends and community. His legacy lives on in the scholarship recipients who demonstrate his resilience and generosity.
The scholarships will be presented at the D.J.'s Hero Awards Luncheon June 2, 2021 at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. This year’s keynote speaker is Byron Pitts, Emmy Award-winning journalist and co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline.” Pitts was named the National Association of Black Journalists Journalist of the Year in 2002. His 2009 memoir, “Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life’s Challenges,” chronicles how he overcame illiteracy and a stutter to become a nationally-celebrated journalist.
The event will also feature a special appearance by 2015 World Series Champion, 8-time Gold Glove winner, and 3-time MLB All-Star Alex Gordon. The former Kansas City Royals and Nebraska Cornhuskers standout will participate in pre-event activities — including a first-come, first-served autograph-signing segment and a Q & A session. He will also be saluted during the Hero Awards program.
Thank you to our 2021 D.J.'s Hero Awards Chairs, Dr. Ken and Annie Bird, and also to the D.J.'s Hero Awards partners, Avenue Scholars and Teammates.