The biggest Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Weekend ever begins in signature fashion on Thursday evening, June 28, with the annual La Capitol Kickoff Reception welcoming the 2018 Induction Class and guests to the Hall of Fame museum in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
The reception is open to the public at no charge from 5-7 p.m. on June 28. It starts a series of festivities including a brand-new Friday afternoon bowling outing, a first-ever riverbank concert Friday night June 29 that is free to the public, the traditional free Championship Saturday Kids Clinic, a Sunday golf scramble July 1 at Alexandria’s OakWing Golf Club, and the feature event, the Saturday evening, June 30 Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Ceremony.
Information and registration opportunities are available at the LaSportsHall.com website or by calling the Hall of Fame Foundation office at 318-238-4255.
La Capitol has sponsored the Kickoff Reception since the Hall of Fame returned its annual inductions to Natchitoches in 2003, after a three-year trial run in Shreveport-Bossier. The reception has always been open to everyone, providing a unique opportunity in a casual setting to meet and mingle with the incoming Hall of Fame members while enjoying quality local entertainment, food and refreshments.
Natchitoches resident Mary Ann Nowlin, a regional vice president for La Capitol, initiated the financial institution’s partnership with the Hall of Fame induction weekend 15 years ago with a sense of community responsibility and pride.
“La Capitol is committed to improving the well-being of communities throughout the state. What better way than to provide our youth dedicated role models, determined to achieve a standard of excellence,” she said. “The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame honors “Real Life” heroes and presents their stories of achievements – right here in Natchitoches with this event, and all year long in the museum.”
“La Capitol is a cornerstone partner for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame,” said Foundation CEO/President Ronnie Rantz. “Mary Ann Nowlin and La Cap led the local and area business community in supporting our annual induction weekend and consistently helping raise the level of involvement by their active engagement in all our weekend activities.
“The La Cap family, from all around our state but particularly the local staff members, have been active participants and volunteers during our inductions since 2003 and we hope for years and years to come,” said Rantz.
La Capital FCU has been part of Louisiana’s financial landscape for 56 years, with roots deep in the capital city of Baton Rouge and branches spreading statewide. The La Cap mission statement says the organization’s goal is “to be a strong and growing non-profit financial institution, serving the financial needs of a wide diversity of members throughout our state, region and nation.”
For more information about La Cap and its many financial services, visit LaCapFCU.org.
The 11 inductees being enshrined June 30 at the Natchitoches Events Center include eight competitive ballot sports heroes: NFL star receivers Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley, LSU and 18-year Major League Baseball pitcher Russ Springer, Grambling and NBA champion Larry Wright, coaching legends Lewis Cook (high school football) and Jerry Simmons (tennis at UL Lafayette and LSU), and the late Paul Candies, a member of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Three contributors are set for induction, led by Steve Gleason, the former New Orleans Saints defensive back whose advocacy for victims of ALS has earned nationwide acclaim. He will receive the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award.
NSU graduate and noted Louisiana broadcaster Lyn Rollins, and acclaimed Lake Charles sportswriter Scooter Hobbs will receive the state’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism.
Caption: Ronnie Rantz, CEO/President of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, accepts a sponsorship check from La Capitol Federal Credit Union and North Louisiana Regional Vice President Mary Ann Nowlin. Joining in the presentation were Jennae Biddiscombe, branch manager of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, and Patrick Hollier, Natchitoches Area Branch Manager. La Capitol is in its 15th year of hosting the annual Kickoff Reception to start the Hall’s 2018 Induction Weekend. This year’s Kickoff Reception is Thursday, June 28, from 5-7 at the museum, and as always, is open to the public free of charge.