By Michael Boo
The 2015 WGI Sport of the Arts Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held Wednesday, April 15, the opening night of the WGI Winter Guard weekend. The banquet at the Dayton Marriott attracted many guard instructors, judges, and administrators who were in town for the events.
Noreen Roberts, WGI Board member and event host, briefly discussed how this 18th Hall of Fame class (JC Connor, Charles Gumbert, and Paul Lampkin) honored those who have made great contributions to the organization and the activity.
Hall of Fame member Randy Nelson spoke eloquently about JC Connor, who passed away in 2013, sharing personal stories about JC and how he got the activity underway in the Deep South. He also discussed JC’s unique down-home humor, his business sense, and his administrative contributions to WGI, (including that of President), and his invaluable assistance in creating the Scholastic Division.
Attendees then watched a video of JC’s Crestview High School guards and remembrances from many of his friends. The honor of his induction was presented to his wife, Sandy, and his daughter, Sarah. Sandy echoed the thoughts of many in the room; emotionally speaking of how much JC is missed.
HOF member Michael Gaines introduced Charles Gumbert by sharing numerous hysterical stories of his early days as a performer under Charlie’s tutelage. He also read notes from Pride of Cincinnati members who spoke of Charlie’s dedication to the members, a couple of them mentioning specific instances of generosity.
HOF member Kevin Roberts spoke about Paul Lampkin’s contributions to judging, which he’s been doing since 1977. Paul has also served in a variety of positions, including WGI Chief Judge and Task Force Coordinator. In the video that was shown, Jeff Namian, former designer of Choctawhatchee HS, recounted how his entire guard was mistakenly given Paul’s home address as the place they were to rehearse during the 1990 WGI World Championships in Buffalo, New York.
Special thanks are due to Ruth Ann Medworth, Chair of the Hall of Fame Committee, for her attention to all the details that went into planning this event.