NATCHITOCHES – With the June 19-21 annual Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration fast approaching, honoring 11 state sports heroes with a series of events, there’s still time to make reservations online at LaSportsHall.com or by telephone to be part of the memorable festivities.
Participation in, and information about, induction events can also be obtained by calling the Hall of Fame Foundation office at 318-238-4255, or by contacting Foundation president Lisa Babin at LisaBabin@LaSportsHall.com by e-mail.
The series of events includes the La Capitol Federal Credit Union Welcome Reception, the always-popular Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Scramble, Championship Saturday for youth featuring the New Orleans Saints/Gatorade Junior Training Camp, and the Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony presented by State Farm Insurance.
The events include a Friday night, June 20, “Folse, Fun and Fireworks” exclusive dinner party, presented by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation at The Landing Restaurant facing Cane River Lake in historic downtown Natchitoches. Renowned Louisiana chef John Folse will entertain guests while they are served a lavish five-course meal with paired wines. The event includes a silent auction featuring hunting and fishing items, and culminates with a fireworks show over Cane River Lake.
Reservations for the Friday night “Folse, Fun and Fireworks” dinner party, the Saturday night Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Ceremony presented by State Farm Insurance at the Natchitoches Events Center, and golf entries, along with sponsorship packages and congratulatory advertising opportunities, can be ordered online through secure transactions at LaSportsHall.com. Descriptions of the events are also available on the website.
While plenty of room remained as of June 5 to participate in the golf tournament and to attend the induction dinner and ceremony, only a few spots are still available for the Friday night dinner party, said Babin.
LSU football product Alan Faneca, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, along with All-Star pitcher Shane Reynolds and New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner/chairman of the board Tom Benson headline the 2014 inductees.
Tulane and NFL standout Lionel Washington, Baton Rouge-Catholic High School cross country and track coach Pete Boudreaux, and Olympic gold medalist Venus Lacy, who helped Louisiana Tech win the 1988 women’s basketball national championship, are also in the Hall’s 2014 induction class. Trailblazing basketball coach Beryl Shipley, who guided the UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns to national prominence in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and legendary Cottonport football player, coach and official Richard “Moon” Ducote’ will be honored posthumously.
Also to be enshrined will be the 2014 Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award winners, Tynes Hildebrand and Wright Waters, and Baton Rouge sports and outdoors writer Joe Macaluso, the 2014 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism recipient.
The Induction Celebration is presented by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation and the LSWA. It has been held every year since 1973 with the Hall of Fame dating back to its first induction class in 1958.
The June 19-21 schedule begins with the annual press conference, restricted to working media, at the Hall of Fame Museum on Thursday afternoon, followed by the first public event, the La Capitol Welcome Reception. It starts at 5 o’clock is open to the public at Maglieaux’s Restaurant on the banks of Cane River Lake and across the street from the museum at 800 Front Street. Also free of charge, but with advance registration required, is Championship Saturday’s New Orleans Saints/Gatorade Junior Training Camp for boys and girls ages 7-14. The first 175 to register, either online or at the Hall of Fame Foundation office at 500 Front Street, will be able to enjoy the training camp at Natchitoches Central High School beginning at 9 a.m. on June 21.
The golf scramble Friday morning, June 20, at Oak Wing Golf Course in Alexandria begins with warmup and registration at 9 o’clock. Tee time at 10 a.m. follows introduction of the Hall of Fame members and 2014 inductees. Outback Steakhouse is providing lunch for the tournament participants, with other food and hospitality provided in addition to golf gear and prizes. The tournament sells out annually but a month away, there still are plenty of team and individual slots available. Five-person teams are paired with celebrity captains.
The nearly year-old Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, already world-renowned for its award-winning architecture, will be open through the weekend with its regular hours and nominal admission fees. New displays and artwork spotlighting the 2014 inductees will be unveiled by the Louisiana Museum System, which operates the museum with collaboration from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, the parent organization of the Hall of Fame.
The striking $23 million, two-story, 27,500-square foot museum structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches at 800 Front Street.