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Alpena Sports Hall of Fame cancels annual banquet

Due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the Alpena Sports Hall of Fame has cancelled its annual banquet and enshrinement dinner.

The Hall of Fame’s board of directors voted on the cancelation Monday, marking the first time in the Hall of Fame’s history that the banquet has been cancelled.

The banquet, which is traditionally held on the first Saturday in May, was first rescheduled in March to be held on Aug. 8 due to coronavirus concerns.

Plans were in the works to hold the banquet on Aug 8, but ongoing health concerns, frequent changes in executive orders handed down by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer regarding social gatherings and a lack of attendees–due to the pandemic–ultimately led to the cancellation.

“It’s very disappointing to have to reschedule, but we have to be safe,” Hall of Fame president Gary Mischley said. “The people being honored really look forward to it and now we’ve got time to put something together where everyone can be honored.”

Plans are in the works to honor this year’s Class of 2019 and next year’s Class of 2020 at next year’s banquet, which Mischley hopes could be held on its traditional date.

The Class of 2019 includes:

∫ Eric Puls, a former Alpena High basketball star who went on to play for the University of Michigan.

∫ Shannon Woloszyk, a former Alpena High softball star, who went on to play at Alma College.

∫ Terry Thomas and Tom Lavoie, former Alpena High girls basketball coaches, who led the Wildcats to two regional championships.

∫ James Hubert, a former Alpena Catholic Central basketball player, baseball player and longtime coach.

∫ Bob Kelley, a multi-sport athlete at Alpena High, who also starred in slow pitch softball and speed skating before getting into coaching.

∫ Bruce Vanderwall, a former Alpena High basketball star, who was a leading scorer for the Wildcats in the late 1960s.

Additionally, Jim Townsend and Joyce Gohlke will be honored as Boosters of the Year and Alpena’s 2010 district champion baseball team will be honored as the Team of the Year.

“It’s going to be a humdinger, a great banquet,” Mischley said of next year. “The people getting honored will get a pat on the back for all their hard work and it’ll be a happy moment to have everyone there.”

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