Almost three dozen of Northwestern State’s greatest sports heroes already have confirmed plans to attend the 2018 Legends Gala on Saturday evening, Aug. 25, at Prather Coliseum, celebrating the unveiling of the new N-Club Hall of Fame display.
The event will feature recognition of all N-Club Hall of Fame members during a 6:30 p.m. dinner, with a panel discussion involving some of the luminaries. A silent auction will be conducted during the evening. Guests will be able to mingle with current NSU student-athletes, coaches and staff members.
A VIP reception at 5 p.m. will include the unveiling of the new display. Along with a contemporary design incorporating graphics and photos, it will include a data base touchscreen with biographical information and photos of each of the 251 Hall of Fame members enshrined since 1968, along with others recognized as distinguished service award winners for career achievements after NSU, or as honorary lettermen for impact on NSU Athletics.
Among those N-Club Hall of Fame members already committed to attending is two-time Super Bowl champion and College Football Hall of Fame member Gary Reasons, also a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Legendary retired coaches Sam Goodwin (football) and Leon Johnson (track and field) will be at the Aug. 25 event, along with two upcoming 2018 N-Club Hall of Fame inductees, former softball and volleyball coach Rickey McCalister and retired athletic trainer Ed Evans.
Also among the Demon football legends coming to the Legends Gala are star players Butch Ballard, Gordon Boogaerts, Walter Edler, Larry Gaudet, Steve Graf, Kenny Hrapmann, John Kulakowski, Vic Nyvall, Tony Papa, Al Phillips, Mike Pool, Glenn Talbert and Kenny Trahant.
Basketball greats David Clark, Emma Ellerman Boozman, Reginald Grace, Linda Grayson Jordan and Tommy Mathis have RSVP’d.
Track and field long-distance standouts Frank Trammel, Maryalyce Walsh Cox, and Leo Gatson are set for the Aug. 25 event. Other spring sports N-Club inductees committed to attend include baseball pitching aces Dennis Choate, Billie Roy Cook, and Reggie Gatewood, softball slugger Ginger Craig, tennis star Vickie Simms Newsom and softball pitching great Kellie Shotwell Edmundson.
Also attending will be family members of deceased N-Club Hall of Fame inductees. Those who will be represented by family include Corwyn Aldredge Sr., Eugene “Doc” Christmas, Phillip Haley, Dr. Arnold Kilpatrick, George, John and J.L. McConathy, and Dr. Charles “Red” Thomas.
Tickets are $50, with a dinner table priced at $500 for a table of eight for the dinner. A $1,000 VIP Package includes a table and exclusive admission for eight to the 5 p.m. reception. Only VIP patrons and N-Club Hall of Fame members have access to the reception when the new display will be showcased and the data base will debut.
Four Gold Sponsors have purchased tables for the Legends Gala: Brenda Webb, honoring her son-in-law, Reggie Gatewood; Butch Ballard; the Evans Family; and Mike McConathy, in remembrance of his father, Johnny, and his uncles, George and J.L.
The new display, which encompasses two walls on the east side of the Prather Coliseum lobby, was funded by private gifts from NSU patrons. Quattro Graphics, which has designed all of the interior graphics for NSU Athletics, developed the display and the data base containing pictures and bio info on each of the Hall of Famers.
The N-Club is the organization of former athletic letterwinners at Northwestern. It was formed in the 1920s and launched a Hall of Fame in 1968. Annual induction ceremonies are held at homecoming each fall.
Never before have all living Hall of Fame members, along with family members of deceased inductees, been invited to be the guests of honor at an NSU Athletics event.
The event is a fundraiser for the Demons Unlimited Foundation, the 501-c-3 non-profit fundraising arm of NSU Athletics.
More information can be found at www.nsudemons.com/legends, said Mike Jaworski, the director of development and engagement for NSU Athletics, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 318-357-4295.