Thursday, July 20, 2000

Butler Sports Hall of Fame finds a place to honor heroes


Names engraved in county's new building

By Anna Guido
Enquirer Contributor

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Jack Gordon and Chuck Furmon are reflected in the polished stone of the new Butler County Sports Hall of Fame display.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
        HAMILTON — The Butler County Sports Hall of Fame finally has a home at the new Government Services Center building on High Street.

        Since the Hall of Fame's inception in 1982, organizers have been searching for a display area in Hamilton.

        “We've been looking for years,” said Jack Gordon, chairman of the selection committee and a 1988 inductee. “We are very indebted to county commissioners for what they've done for us here.”

        The Hall of Fame was dedicated last month.

        Mr. Gordon played football for Hamilton High School and the University of Cincinnati and coached Middletown High School football for 20 years. He also played softball, is a member of the Ohio State Softball Hall of Fame and currently is sports director for WPFB radio in Middletown.

        “I have yet to find any county that has anything to compare to this,” Mr. Gordon said. “I've talked to people all over and it really has been a very unique situation for us here in Butler County.”

        The Hall of Fame, which is open to male and female athletes of all sports, was founded by inductees Jerry Nardiello and the late Bill Moeller.

        “It pays tribute to individuals who have distinguished themselves in their particular sports, and to those who have made a major contribution to the world of sports,” County Commissioner Chuck Furmon said.

        A former local athlete himself, Mr. Furmon has been involved in the search for a Hall of Fame display area and suggested the Government Services Center building when it was under construction.

        “When I was mayor (in 1994-95), we tried to find somewhere where we could display the plaques,” Mr. Furmon said. “Commissioners are in charge of county property, so when we were building the Government Services Center, I thought this might be a good location.”

        Rather than display the plaques, however, county commissioners and Hall of

        Fame organizers came up with the idea of a stone wall where the names of inductees could be engraved.

        The polished black wall is in the second-floor lobby of the Government Services Center. Materials and labor for the wall were provided by Corporex, the Northern Kentucky company that built the center. Future costs, such as maintenance, engravings and added lighting above the stone tablets, will be paid by county commissioners, Mr. Furmon said.

        Hall of Fame nominees must have lived in the county for at least 10 years. Anyone can make a nomination. Ten people are elected each year. This year's inductees will be elected in August, and a banquet celebrating the new members will be held the Sunday after Thanksgiving.



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