The Joann Oehlert Spirit Award
Joann Oehlert began group classes in 1974 with two of her friends at the Igloo rink in Atlanta. Joann was a sincere and down to earth person with a wonderful dry sense of humor. Though Joann and her husband Ben had no children of their own, they were always a big part of making the annual Club shows a success.
In 1980 when the AFSC hosted Nationals, Joann took the entire week off from work to help with the event. Nearly every skater at the rink had a pair of mittens hand-made by Joann. Some even believed they were good luck charms. There is no doubt, though, that ice skating was her favorite pastime.
Joann had many accomplishments on the ice, but she was most challenged when attempting to learn the Axel. She probably landed a few; however, with grim determination she never stopped trying.
In 1983, Joann was diagnosed with cancer. This did not stop her, however; her spirits were always up with an unbelievably positive attitude. It is very appropriate that the Joann Oehlert Spirit Award is named in her honor. Throughout all life’s battles she never lost her will, determination, or her spirit.