Published:
CANTON, OH (November 8, 2013) – The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival General Chairman Alumni Association held its annual dinner on Sept. 18. The event was emceed by Bill Schauer, current association president and 2006 general chairman. Members of the Alumni Association offer assistance to the Enshrinement Festival in the areas of sponsor recognition, promoting community awareness, and support in planning and producing the annual festivities. [gallery link="file" ids="6787,6788,6789"] The Association was formed in 1993 and has been comprised of general chairmen of the committees under the auspices of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce since the inception of the Enshrinement Festival in 1963. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and annual Enshrinement Festival, Association members strongly felt it was appropriate to begin to include the general chairmen of the Hall’s committees as well, and therefore, officially inducted them into the Association at the annual meeting. Inductees included: R. Wade Norris (1964 – 1970), Howard “Bud” Buker (1971 – 1985), Bill Owens (1986 – 1990), Bart Lee (1991 – 2000), and Ken Dansizen (2001 – 2010). Representing the late Wade Norris were son Robert W. Norris and granddaughter Jennifer Chaye, and representing the late Bud Buker were daughters Betsy Buker and Patty Clapper. Owens, Lee, and Dansizen were present to receive their official green Alumni Association jacket, and all five general chairmen’s names will be featured on a plaque permanently displayed in the Enshrinement Festival office. Also receiving the ceremonial green jacket was Joseph R. Halter, 2013 general chairman of the Chamber committees. Presented by Candy Wallace, 2012 general chairman, Halter was recognized for his exceptional leadership during the 50th anniversary year and for his passion to assure the success of the events for the enjoyment of local citizens as well as visitors coming to Canton to enjoy this one of a kind celebration. Halter will continue to serve the Enshrinement Festival as chairman of the Chamber’s Steering Committee. Awards of Merit were presented to Richard J. “Dick” Kempthorn and Kevin Smith of PPI Graphics & Innovative Trends. They were recognized for their loyal and generous support of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival for many years, helping to assure the success of the events through the donation of their time, talents and resources. Finally, Association members warmly and enthusiastically saluted Stephen A. Perry, president & executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who recently announced his retirement after a seven-year tenure in that position. Perry was general chairman of the Chamber committees in 1999, and has been a strong supporter of the Enshrinement Festival while in both capacities.

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