Enshrinement Festival Names Key Committee Chairs for Special Events and Staging

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival department of Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Pro Football Hall of Fame have named the following key committee chairs:  Maureen Schmucker, Special Events, and Gregory Briggs, Staging.

SchmukerSchmucker is a math teacher and volleyball and track coach at Oakwood Middle School in the Plain Local School system.  A graduate of Canton Central Catholic High School, she obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kent State University. A member of the Hospitality Committee since 2008, she also served as vice chairman of the Special Events Committee in 2013, and this is her first year as chairman of that committee.  She is a volunteer for the Stark County Exceptional Olympics, active with the Stark County Mathematics Vision Project, and is a lector at St. Louis Church.  She and husband Larry are the proud parents of one son and one daughter.

As Special Events chairman, one of her major tasks will be to coordinate the Hall of Fame Board of Trustees Reception, which is staged as the first official function for the Enshrinees and their presenters, returning Hall of Famers and other out of town guests. Additionally, the Special Events Committee provides services such as emergency medical and dental assistance for guests of the Hall of Fame during their stay in Canton, and the committee is always on call to assist the Enshrinees and their families as needed. Smith will be assisted with these many duties by vice-chairman Sharon Griffith.

BriggsBriggs is a sub-contractor in the flooring business, so he brings a great amount of expertise to his second year as chairman of the Staging Committee, after serving as a volunteer on the committee for the past 15 years.  He graduated from Timken High School and attended Stark State. An Eagle Scout, he is the proud father of one son and one daughter.

The Staging Committee directs the planning, preparation and production of the Queen Pageant, Fashion Show Luncheon, Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner, and Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable. Mark Miller is assisting Briggs as vice-chairman.


Enshrinement Festival Queen Committee Chair Named; Pageant Tickets Available

Crystal McClendonCrystal McLendon has been named chair of the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Queen Committee. This is her second and final year in that capacity and assisting her with leadership responsibilities will be Brenda Stevens, committee vice-chair.

A Canton native, McLendon is a graduate of Sandy Valley High School and Walsh University. She is employed by Nationwide Insurance as commercial processing supervisor and in addition to her years of service on the Queen Committee, she has previous Enshrinement Festival experience as a hostess for Hall of Famers during the Enshrinement ceremony.  She and husband John are the proud parents of three children.

The Queen Pageant will take place Thursday, May 8, beginning at 7 p.m. at The Canton Palace Theatre where 49 outstanding young ladies will vie for the crown. All seats are reserved at $20 each (subject to additional processing fee and handling charge).  For tickets, please visit www.profootballhofef.com or call 330.458.2048.

At the conclusion of the Pageant, a Queen and seven court members will have been selected on the basis of personality, poise, beauty, communication skills, academic achievement and service to community.  The number of court members selected coincides with the number of members of the Class of 2014 Enshrinees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Queen and her court will serve as role models and goodwill ambassadors throughout the community, and one of their most memorable experiences will be their ride on a float in the TimkenSteel Grand Parade.

The Queen Committee is responsible for working with Enshrinement Festival staff in coordinating all activities relating to the Enshrinement Festival Queen and court and serving as chaperones during their community service activities and official event appearances.

For more information regarding the Queen Pageant or sponsorship opportunities, contact Joanne Murray at (330) 458-2050 or visit the Enshrinement Festival Web site at www.profootballhofef.com.

Enshrinement Festival Announces Key Committee Chairs for 2014

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce has named the following key committee chairs:  Randy Reed, Balloon Classic and Todd Hawke, Jackson-Belden Food Fest & Fireworks; Brian Harbert, Ribs Burnoff.

Randy ReedReed is an escrow officer at Title One Agency and is a long-time Enshrinement Festival volunteer, previously serving on the Ribs Burnoff committee for 21 years, including two years as chairman. A graduate of East Canton High School and the former Stark Technical College, he is married to Jay. He is a past president and chairman of the board of Canton Jaycees, JCI Senatorship, and WCR Affiliate of the Year.  In addition to his support of the Jaycees, he has been an active member of East Canton Rotary and Stark County Association of Realtors.

Assisting Reed as vice-chairman of the event committee is Casey Weisend, as the event proudly celebrates its 28th anniversary this year. What started in 1986 with 25 balloons at Weis Park has grown to a capacity field of nearly 70 balloons on the campuses of Kent State University at Stark and Stark State College, with nearly 125,000 people enjoying the two-and-a-half day event.

The Balloon Luminary was added in 1993 and is currently known as the Night Glow, and a further milestone was marked in 1995 when the Jackson-Belden Food Fest & Fireworks came under the umbrella of the Enshrinement Festival and joined forces with the Balloon Classic, a great partnership that continues still today.

Todd HawkeThe Food Fest Committee is chaired this year by Todd Hawke, principal at GDK & Company, and also currently serving as a Jackson Township Trustee.  He is a graduate of Kenton Ridge High School and Ohio Wesleyan University and has served in various capacities on the Food Fest Committee since 2002.  He is actively involved in the community and serves on the boards of the Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio, and American Cancer Society of Stark County.  Todd and wife Tricia have one son and one daughter.

Hawke will be assisted in the planning and staging of the Food Fest by vice chairman Carles Moore.

It’s important to remember that the Balloon Classic and Food Fest activities will take place once again one week earlier than was tradition for many years, and will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 18, 19 and 20 so as not to be in conflict with several other major ballooning events throughout the country.

The combined Balloon Classic/Food Fest event will include a wide variety of food and beverage vendors, children’s activity area, musical entertainment, and a spectacular fireworks display.

Brian HarbertHarbert, director of Aultman Management Services Organization, is a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Walsh University.  A long-time Ribs Burnoff Committee volunteer, this is his second year as chairman, and he previously chaired the Parking, Facilities, and Vendors sub-committees.  He is vice president of Our Lady of Peace Men’s Club and past finance chair for the American Cancer Society Canton Relay for Life.  He and wife Laurie are the proud parents of two daughters.

Another long-time Ribs Burnoff Committee volunteer, Darren Faye, is serving as vice-chairman of the committee.  Together, they will oversee all aspects of the Ribs Burnoff, which will take place July 30, 31 and  August 1 at Stark County Fairgrounds. Special attractions include a wide variety of rib and specialty food vendors, beverages, children’s entertainment area, fantasy football zone of interactive inflatables, enormous sand sculpture, and musical entertainment.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Names Auxiliary Committee Chairs

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival department of Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce has named the following auxiliary committee chairs: Sally Hoce, Communications; Diane Novak, Special Services; and Michele Shaffer, Security & Logistics.

Hoce, a retired Perry Local Schools teacher, has been a member of the Communications committee since 2007, served as vice chairman in 2011 and 2012, and chairman in 2013.  A graduate of the former Glenwood High School, she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Kent State University and a Masters in Gifted Education from Ashland University.  A member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for Women Educators, she is active with Mercy Service League and as a member of the women’s board of Springhill Historic Home.  She has one son, and he preceded her as chairman of the Communications committee.

Hoce will be assisted by committee vice chairman Gary Bradway.

The Communications committee assumes responsibility for communications equipment utilized at all Enshrinement Festival events. Members are responsible for distributing equipment, charging radios and telephones, monitoring EMS activities and serving as a clearinghouse for inquiries from guests, patrons and media.

Novak graduated from Hoover High School and University of Akron and is currently owner/president of Novak Accounting.  She previously served on the Appreciation Party committee for 10 years and has been on the Special Services Committee for six years, with this her first as chairman. She is extensively involved in community activities, serving on committees for a wide array of entities including Aultman Hospital Women’s Board and Angel Auction, Wilderness Center, Taste of the NFL, Central Catholic High School, and St. Michael Church.  She and husband Joe are the proud parents of a daughter and son.

Assisting Novak with committee duties is vice chairman Jerry Gilin.

The Special Services committee assists many of the event committees with varied duties, including media and sponsor hospitality, registration at the Balloon Classic media flight, transportation for Drum Corps Competition, and hosting the Grand Parade float judges.

Shaffer is a principal within the Louisville City Schools. She graduated from Canton South High School, received her Bachelor’s Degree from University of Akron, and Master’s Degree from Ashland University where she continues to pursue post-Master’s work.  She has been honored as a Stark County Person of Character, recognized by the Louisville Chamber of Commerce as a School Employee of the Year, and is proud that her school has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School.  She is a member of the Ohio Association of Elementary Principals Association, Louisville Kiwanis, Diversity Team for Louisville Schools, Eastern Stark Legacy Chapter #596, and Delta Kappa Gamma, Delta Upsilon. She serves as vice president of the Board of the Louisville YMCA.

Serving as vice chairman of the Security & Logistics committee is Doug Froelich.

The Security & Logistics committee issues security passes for all personnel servicing the events, oversees the delivery, distribution and security of food, beverage, flowers, favors, programs and other items necessary to the success of the three indoor events, and monitors movement of people from the perimeter rooms into the main auditorium for the program portion of each of the three events.  The committee also provides security support for the Queen Pageant, Drum Corps Competition, Community Parade, Ribs Burnoff, Concert & Fireworks, Race, and Grand Parade committees.

State of Ohio Grants $10 Million to Sustain and Strengthen Pro Football Hall of Fame and Enshrinement Festival

The State of Ohio announced today that its 2014 Biennial Capital Budget will include a $10 million grant to the Pro Football Hall of Fame to reconstruct Fawcett Stadium, the venue for the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony and the NFL/Hall of Fame game.  This grant is in recognition of the important role the Pro Football Hall of Fame and its annual Enshrinement Festival play in generating tourism and economic development for the State.

“We are very pleased that the Pro Football Hall of Fame and its Enshrinement Festival have been selected by the State of Ohio to receive this generous grant,” said Tom Schervish, Chairman of the Hall of Fame Board of Trustees.  “This will be a tremendous help toward completing the $24.3 million project so that Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium can continue to serve as the venue for the annual Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony for many years to come.”

David Baker, President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, pointed out that the Enshrinement Ceremony is the “key event” among all the events held during each year’s two-week Enshrinement Festival. “Tens of thousands attend the Ceremony each year and millions more watch it on national television.  So, it is absolutely imperative that we improve the venue for the Ceremony in order to sustain and strengthen not only that event, but the entire Enshrinement Festival.  All of this is a part of the plan to increase the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s role as a major catalyst for regional tourism and economic development.”

Stephen A. Perry, recently retired President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Dennis Saunier, President & CEO of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, are leading the project fundraising campaign.  Perry stated that, “During the past 50 years, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has become America’s premier sports Hall of Fame and the annual Enshrinement Festival has become a major tourist destination in Ohio.  We certainly want to thank Governor John Kasich for his leadership and support of sustain the Hall of Fame’s growth and development.  We also want to thank members of the Ohio General Assembly, particularly Senator Scott Oelslager and Representative Kirk Schuring for their years of diligent effort to secure this historic level of support from the State of Ohio.

This grant is a huge step toward the successful completion this project, however, there is much more work to be done and we are working with community leaders to secure additional financial support.”

Saunier added, “We also want to thank the other members of Stark County’s delegation to the Ohio Legislature and other leaders for their ongoing collaboration to make this project a reality.  This project was strongly endorsed as the top priority for this region by all of the area’s Chambers of Commerce and the Stark Development Board (SDB) on behalf of the businesses and community interests they represent.  When the Canton Regional Chamber was asked by Governor Kasich to lead this process, we invited the other Chambers and the SDB to participate in the process. We want to thank the executives at these organizations for joining us in making this recommendation to the Governor and the Legislature. This project was also strongly endorsed by the Superintendent of the Canton City School District, for which we are grateful.”

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Project to Reconstruct Fawcett Stadium will preserve the iconic and historic elements of the 1938 structure.  It will include new infrastructure and new seating in the North and South Stands, new technology systems for sound and video screens, improved parking, improved stadium access, new concession areas and restrooms and a new plaza adjoining the stadium and the Hall of Fame.   The Project will be accomplished in two phases, starting in 2014 and completed in 2016.