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Collingswood High School
Athletic Hall of Fame
March Induction Dinner to Honor 7 Individuals and 4 Teams
Collingswood, NJ, February 04 – The Collingswood High School Athletic Hall of Fame will hold its 25th annual induction banquet Saturday, March 7, 2015. Seven individuals and four teams will be honored at the Crowne Plaza, Cherry Hill, NJ.
After 25 years, there’s no doubt, this is not your standard chicken and rice awards dinner.
With an average of 450 alumni and friends in attendance each year, it’s an impressive statement of the pride and enduring success of Collingswood Athletics. It’s also a significant reason why nearly $65,000 has been awarded each of the past 25 years, to some 200 Collingswood students, assisting them to pursue their dreams of a college education.
With those numbers, some may wonder, “What exactly is in that not-so chicken and rice dinner?”
But it’s not what’s in the dinner. Or a high-powered speech at the dinner. It’s simply what’s in the people who attend the dinner.
It’s the tradition, the pride and the reverence Collingswood alumni and friends have for their alma mater and each other “The memories make you want to give back,” says Bill McLaughlin, Collingswood Class of ’73, Hall of Fame inductee and Chairman of the Collingswood High School Athletic Hall of Fame Executive Board. “You want others to have the same opportunities you had and you want to continue to help lift Collingswood up so others can see what a great community it is.”
Consider the numbers to see how the Hall of Fame has helped lift Collingswood up over the past 25 years:
* 220+ scholarships awarded to 220+ students
* Nearly $65,000 awarded each year
* Nearly $1 million awarded over 25 years
* 386 individuals inducted
* 39 teams inducted
* 450+ attendees at nearly every induction dinner
An idea originally conceived by a small group of several legendary Collingswood sports names, “the Hall” gained the support of the School Board, Administration, and Township officials and was created in 1991. Since then, it has grown to be one of the oldest and most successful halls of fame in the area – and some say the nation. One long-time member provided advice and guidance to a friend in Florida who has modeled his high school hall of fame after Collingswood’s. While another member, involved with coaches at the national level, says these coaches are stunned by the amount of money the Hall awards.
“The support we receive to fund these scholarships continues to amaze us,” says McLaughlin. The majority of donations are yearly, single donations but Collingswood has been fortunate to have a few, larger individual donors. Walter Blankley, a 2002 inductee and wife Rosemary Deniken-Blankley, considered one of Collingswood’s all-time great female athletes and a 1991 inaugural year inductee, are one of the Hall’s largest and longest donors. “Collingswood is where the foundation of our success was built. In addition to the acclaimed athletic program, we received an education that enabled us to obtain scholarships to Beaver College and Princeton. Since we met at a National Honor Society meeting, we included that as the scholastic requirement for our scholarship,” says the Blankleys.
Ron Stevenson, a 1964 graduate and 2010 inductee, initiated and funds the majority of the Vets for Panthers Scholarship. He echoes Deniken-Blankley's feelings about Collingswood. "The friendships that developed during my years at Collingswood have lasted a lifetime. One of the reasons I wanted to create the Vets for Panthers (VFP) Scholarship was to commemorate and recognize those friendships, and to especially provide an opportunity by way of annual VFP scholarships to remember and honor all Vets who graduated from CHS, their sacrifices and service to our country. The Steve Young Scholarship is an example of this in which the Class of 1963, Steve's class, along with one remaining family member and friends have funded a VFP Scholarship in his honor annually since its inception. Recognizing, remembering and honoring while giving back to our future generations’ education. It doesn't get any better than that."
Regardless of their donation amount, the alumni, friends and families of Collingswood High School athletics have come together in true form as a team and made a resounding statement over the past 25 years: Collingswood High School and it’s athletes will continue to make their mark on the world and will continue to lift each other up for years to come.
The 2015 Collingswood Athletic Hall of Fame induction class will include:
Marla Kravitt Minier, 1968. Hockey, Basketball, Lacrosse
Kurt Engelbert, 1978, Soccer, Basketball
Darren Cummings, 1987, Soccer, Basketball,
Rick Koss, 1993, Football, Wrestling, Baseball
Dana Curry Cornog, 1994, Hockey, Basketball, Lacrosse
Dale Plummer, 1981, Coach, Tennis
Neil Elverson, 1952, Lifetime Achievement
1967 Undefeated Colonial Conference Championship Field Hockey Team
1968 Undefeated Colonial Conference Championship Girls Basketball Team
1968 Undefeated Girls Lacrosse Team
1968 Colonial Conference, Suburban Cup and South Jersey Group III Championship Boys Basketball Team
Cost to attend the banquet is $50. To reserve your spot, visit www.collingswoodathletichalloffame.org and download a reservation form or contact Marie Kolynych, email@example.com or call 609.518.0408. Space cannot be guaranteed after February 13, 2015.
For more information on the Collingswood High School Athletic Hall of Fame, to make a donation, or nominate an inductee, please visit our website at www.collingswoodathletichalloffame.org.
The Collingswood High School Athletic Hall of Fame was organized in 1990 and its objective is two-fold: 1) to recognize Collingswood athletes and coaches who have brought honor and distinction to the school and 2) to raise scholarship money for graduating Collingswood High School student athletes. Nearly 30 alumni volunteer on the Collingswood Athletic Hall of Fame Board. New members are always welcome and should visit the website for more information.
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