By Meghan Callan
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter
ST. JOHNS — A new Athletic Hall of Fame for the town of St. Johns is expected to create creative revenue opportunities for the high school’s Athletic Department.
The Board of Education for St. Johns has announced the approval to create an inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame starting in 2016.
Director of Athletic Activities for St. Johns High School Chris Ervin proposed the idea to the Board of Education this past summer. This past Monday, Oct. 26 Ervin’s Hall of Fame proposal was discussed and passed by the board.
Scott Darragh, a member of the board, was concerned regarding funding for the Hall of Fame such as costs for plaques, trophies, and annual dinners.
However, Ervin has potential solutions for any obstacles regarding funding.
Ervin said he has reached out to surrounding districts that have Hall of Fames to figure out ways in which they have handled potential expenses.
“The idea is to have an annual dinner for those inducted for that year and an additional Hall of Fame dinner to celebrate the achievements of those inducted in the past,” said Ervin.
Ervin’s plan for the dinners includes offering a free ticket to each inducted member and their guest, and charging a general commission for everyone else. According to Ervin, once a committee is established pricing for tickets will be discussed.
Ervin said in addition he would look towards the community for local businesses to sponsor the annual dinners.
According to Ervin, sponsorship for Hall of Fame events might be added to the already established Athletic Advertising Program.
Rhonda Dedyne, the secretary of the Board of Education, also believes there is sponsorship opportunity.
“There may be potential for revenue if there is a program pamphlet of some sort for each event, it would certainly be a sponsorship opportunity. The program could have congratulatory advertisements honoring the team or whoever is being inducted,” said Dedyne.
John Williams, expert in sociology of fan culture and sports at the University of Leicester, believes there are additional ways to collect revenue.
“Having a speaker would add attraction to the event. For example, having a local or regional figure speak. It might also be good to get a patron, someone known locally and respected to help host such events. In addition, having an auction during an annual sports dinner is always well supported,” said Williams.
Williams also believes a Hall of Fame could draw in positive attention to SJHS’s Athletic Program.
“As long as the process of induction was both selective and transparent, involving local people, and that those inducted are sufficient high-level athletes it could raise the profile of high school athletics,” said Williams.
Williams believes this positive light shed on the achievements of these athletes also offers opportunities for local media coverage.
Dedrick Martin, superintendent of schools for St. Johns, is also confident in Ervin’s proposal.
“Once a committee is formed they will look into all funding issues and make it so there is no cost for the district of St. Johns. Extra money raised would go towards the school’s athletic department,” said Martin.
According to the St. Johns Athletic Department, residents with questions or concerns regarding this new development should be directed toward the St. Johns High School Activities Office.