MAKING HISTORY: Ski hall of fame to enshrine class of 2016

Winter sports enthusiasts will be on hand this weekend to celebrate the formal enshrinement of nine individuals into the 2016 class at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in Ishpeming. (Journal photo by Lisa Bowers)

ISHPEMING — Ski season may be a couple months away, but winter sports enthusiasts will be on hand this weekend to celebrate formal enshrinement of nine individuals into the 2016 class at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.

“Each member of the hall of fame’s class of 2016 was a remarkable leader as an athlete or sport builder,” U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Chairman Tom Kelly said in a press release in April. “So much of what all of us enjoy in our sport today has emanated from these outstanding honored members of the hall of fame.”

This year’s inductees include the president of the National Ski Areas Association Michael Berry; Dan and John Egan, the brothers who have starred in countless Warren Miller films; ski jumping Olympian and coach Jeff Hastings; Copper Mountain conceiver Chuck Lewis; and professional snowboarder Shaun Palmer.

Also joining the class are athlete and author Ellen Post Foster; freestyle icon and ambassador Marion Post Caldwell; National Ski Patrol visionary Gretchen Rous Besser; and ski marketing and trade-show impresario Bernie Weichsel, a global ambassador for skiing.

Hall of Fame Executive Director Justin Koski said the annual event is important because it helps to chronicle the history of winter sports in the place were organized skiing was born.

“Ishpeming is the birthplace of modern organized skiing in the U.S., it only makes sense that the accomplishments of these people and their stories are kept here in the museum,” Koski said. “That, in turn draws top athletes to the area and spreads awareness that our national hall of fame is here in Ishpeming.”

The weekend will kick off at 5 p.m. Friday with a Ski Jumper Reunion at the USSSHOF museum, followed by the Ski Jumper Reunion Dinner at 6 p.m., and the enshrinement ceremony from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

While a $15 donation is suggested, Friday’s events are free and open to the public, but space is limited, Koski said.

“People should call and RSVP if they are coming, but walk-ins are certainly welcome,” Koski said. “We can fit about 120 people up there for the enshrinement ceremony.”

New to the event this year is a special raffle of a 6-foot barrel sauna, Koski said. Tickets are $10 each.

Saturday’s events will begin with the annual Kiwanis Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at KD Hall in Ishpeming, followed by the Hall of Fame Golf Outing. Registration will be from 11 a.m. to noon at the Wawanowin Golf Club, with a noon shotgun start. The golf outing awards and silent auction will be from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by the class of 2016 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Banquette from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

To RSVP for the events on Friday or to learn more about cost and availability for Saturday’s events call the USSSHOF office at 906-485-5323.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.