The Wayne Area Sports Hall of Fame is celebrating its silver anniversary in 2018

The Wayne Area Sports Hall of Fame will be celebrating its silver anniversary this year and officials are kicking things off in style.

Over the course of the last 25 years, the Hall has worked tirelessly on two main missions.

The first is the founding and maintenance of a shrine dedicated to the memory of our area's iconic athletes.

The second is a series of grants intended to help local boys and girls as they pursue their dreams.

On Wednesday evening, representatives from several local youth athletics organizations gathered in Honesdale to receive this year's grants.

Selection Committee Chairman Greg Frigoletto and longtime member Cathy Howell were both on hand to present the checks.

This year's grants were awarded to:

•Honesdale Youth Tennis Program

•Western Wayne Little League

•Friends of Carlton Drake Memorial Park

“We're very proud of the fact that the Wayne Area Sports Hall of Fame supports programs across the county,” Greg said.

“This year is a perfect example of that. We have one group from here in Honesdale, but we also have one from the Western Wayne area and one from Newfoundland in the southern part of the area.”

The Process

The process for obtaining a grant is simple and uncomplicated.

Applications for next year's grants will be available in the fall and may be obtained in several ways.

Mr. Frigoletto can be reached at the Wayne Highlands School District Office 570-253-4661.

Applications are also available online by visiting the school district website, waynehighlands.org.

The committee will then meet in April to review all the paperwork. An announcement will be made shortly thereafter to inform those organizations that have been approved.

The Grants

Keith Andrews is the new boys varsity tennis coach at Honesdale High School.

He brings with him an impressive resume of experience and qualifications that stretch back two decades.

Coach Andrews is in the midst of organizing a series of summer tennis clinics open to boys and girls ages 6-18 at the Daniel J. O'Neill Sports Complex.

The $500 grant from the Hall of Fame will go toward buying equipment for the campers who may not have their own. It will also be used to purchase mini-nets for and training aids for the youngest players.

Mike Mercereau was on hand representing the Friends of Carlton Drake Memorial Park. Mike is the vice president of this group and one of the prime movers in the ongoing renovation.

The park is located in Newoundland. It features walking trails, playgrounds, baseball and softball fields, concession stands and restrooms.

This year's Hall of Fame grant will be used to for improved fencing, a scoreboard for the softball field, equipment for grooming the infields and safety bases.

The youth fields will be used by the Wallenpaupack Area Little League for baseball, softball, t-ball and Challenger Division.

Kim Gillott represented the Western Wayne Little League at Wednesday's meeting. She accepted a check in the amount of $500 from the Hall.

These funds will be used to help purchase and install lights for the ballfield, which is located in Waymart Borough.

Western Wayne Little League officials are also working on an overall site renovation which will address concession stands and public restrooms.

History

The Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame was founded back in 1993.

The late General Daniel O'Neill, Dr. Walter Barbe and Leroy Spoor were three of the leading lights in this movement, which sought to honor legendary athletes of the past.

The initial induction class featured names like Christy Mathewson, Ruth McGinnis and our own Keith Sutton.

Since then, more than 200 more deserving athletes have seen their names added to that hallowed list.

Stay tuned to TWI Sports this summer for more stories dealing with the Wayne Area Sports Hall of Fame's silver anniversary.