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Steve Guback Distinguished Virginian Award

The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors presents the Steve Guback Award to a Distinguished Virginian in recognition of that individual’s philanthropic legacy using sports as a platform in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This award is named in honor of the Steve Guback, VSHF Class of 2005, in recognition of over 70 years of dedicated service in covering sports in the state of Virginia, and beyond.

2020 Recipient

Priority Automotive President and CEO, Dennis Ellmer is the 2020 recipient of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame’s Steve Guback Distinguished Virginian Award. Ellmer has helped revive the longest running charity football game in North America, the Priority Toyota Charity Bowl, now in its 53rd year. In 2010 the Charity Bowl was in danger of being cancelled, as interest in the game, and overall fundraising efforts declined. Initially founded to support the Joy Fund in Hampton Roads, the Charity Bowl was struggling to provide that support for just one charitable organization. Through Ellmer and Priority’s involvement, the Charity Bowl received a second wind and in 2021 alone raised over $800,000 which was used to support 39 Southeastern Virginia charities. All told, the Charity Bowl has raised more than $3-million since 2011.

A Norfolk native and  Old Dominion University alumnus, Ellmer has been steadfast in his support of the University and its athletics program. A premium lounge at Old Dominion University’s S.B. Ballard Football Stadium, bears the Priority Automotive name, and the Charity Bowl takes places each year at ODU. The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame is proud to call Dennis Ellmer as Distinguished Virginian.

Ellmer will be presented with the Distinguished Virginian Award as part of the 2022 Induction Ceremony celebrating the Class of 2020, April 30, 2022 at the Westin Hotel in Town Center of Virginia Beach. For more information on 2022 Induction Weekend, please follow the link below:

2022 Induction Weekend

2022 Induction Weekend is presented by Priority Automotive Group.

For more information on the Charity Bowl please visit:

Priority Toyota Charity Bowl

Dennis Elmer

Past Recipients

2009, E. Claiborne

Robbins, Jr.

E. Claiborne Robbins, Jr.
2009 Distinguished Virginian Award recipient, E. Claiborne Robins, Jr. (left)

2011, G. Robert

Aston Jr.

G. Robert Aston, Jr.
2011 Distinguished Virginian Award Recipient, G. Robert Aston, Jr. (right)

2012, Elmon T.


Elmon T. Gray
2012 Distinguished Virginian Award Recipient, Elmon T. Gray (awarded posthumously)

2013, Dr. Frank C.


Dr. Frank C. McCue III
2013 Distinguished Virginian Award winner, Dr. Frank McCue III, (awarded posthumously)

About Steve Guback

Steve Guback

Steve Guback spent 75 years covering sports on the local, regional, and national levels for publications in Virginia and Washington D.C. Writing primarily for the Richmond Times Dispatch, and Washington Star, Guback was named Virginia/District of Columbia Sportswriter three times, and served on the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee. A 1989 inductee into the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame, Guback served as director of information for the President Ronald Reagan’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Guback’s legacy lives on through the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame’s, Steve Guback Distinguished Virginian Award.


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