December 28, 2016 Edition

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Rotary will open
Sports Hall of Fame

John Bland

After months of research and planning, the Rotary Club of Lawrence County has announced plans to establish a Lawrence County Sports Hall of Fame. The club will be accepting nominations for its first class of inductees from Jan. 1-31.

According to the detailed guidelines for the program, categories for nominations will include: high school athlete, team coach, friend of sports, college athlete and pro-athlete. To be nominated as a high school or college athlete, the individual must be out of school for at least 10 years.

"I think this will really serve this county for a long time," said George Fray, a past president of the club. "We've been looking for a project to make the county a better place and one that everyone, the whole county, can take pride in," he added.

The inaugural hall of fame class is expected to include five inductees, according to Rotary members. However, it is recommended that the total number of inductees be held to five or less each year.

A selection committee of seven Rotary members, plus two at-large members will select the recipients, each of whom must receive 75 percent vote of affirmation or a yes vote by seven of the nine committee members.

Nominees can be living or deceased and can include an entire team, said the Rotary members. When a name has been submitted for nomination, it will be considered each year thereafter for induction for an eight-year period, according to guidelines.

Nomination forms will be available at the office of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce in Walnut Ridge.

Selections will be announced on March 15, and a golf tournament and banquet will be held on a weekend in April. The first golf tournament is scheduled for April 21, with a banquet set for April 22 at Williams Baptist College.

The Sports Hall of Fame project will also serve as a fundraiser for Rotary. With proceeds from the golf tournament and banquet, Rotary members plan to increase the level of scholarships now given to a graduating senior at each of the four high schools in Lawrence County.

Rotary members stressed that the voting process will be very confidential, but that the process of selection will be transparent.

For more information, the following Rotarians can be contacted for a nomination form: Dan Mullen, 886-2452; Dale Leatherman, 870-759-4124; or Anthony Pinkston, 870-637-3005. Mullen is president-elect and chair of the new program, Leatherman is club president, and Pinkston is a past president.

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