" I wanted to thank you for the invitation to last night's event. You obviously put a lot of time and energy into it and it really showed. We enjoyed very much the memorabilia that you had on display, what a great testament to the longevity and impact of the fitness industry! Thank you again for the invitation, we hope to get a chance to meet with you again, GREAT WORK!"
All My Best,
Angie Wickstrom, NFPT National Federation of Personal Trainers
"I just wanted to drop a short note to thank you for a wonderful evening. The National Fitness Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was impressive and a true display of your passion, hard work, and efforts in preserving the history of fitness. I commend you and your team for embarking on this quest and support you wholeheartedly."
In Health & Fitness, Debi Pillarelli
"Thank you once again for a fabulous event, a wonderful time and a night I'll always remember. I so appreciate all that you do and of course the museum is wonderful."
Looking forward to reading and seeing all. Most sincerely and with great respect,
Linda Shelton - 2007 HOF Inductee
"Thanks to you and your dad, the evening was a great success. The best part of the evening was revisiting with students I haven't seen in a long time. Thanks again."
Thomas P. Sattler, Ed.D - 2007 HOF Inductee Director of Education and Program Development Alliance Rehab/SeniorFITness
Record Setting Hall of Fame Event!
by John Figarelli
It’s been a month since the 2007 National Fitness Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held on March 18th, 2007 and I am finally able to reflect on this great happening.
Let me say that it was a wonderful event from start to finish! Numerous attendees told me that they had a terrific time and the HOF Inductees all seemed to enjoy the evening. I want to thank those Inductees that made it into the Chicago-area. [We do not have money in the budget to pay for the Inductees airfare or hotel, so we do greatly appreciate their contribution in making it in for the ceremony]. Thanks also to everyone who attended - You make it all so special!
Many thanks all those who volunteered their time to help everything run smoothly, especially my parents, Don & Julia for all of their hours of hard work bringing everything together. And finally thanks to our entire terrific event sponsors for providing the financial resources to make this possible.
This year’s event was once again held in conjunction with the “Don of Sports” Awards which recognizes local individuals for their dedication of time and service to their community and demonstrated outstanding leadership & sportsmanship. 2007 “DOS” Awardees, Michael Capizzano, Billy Leagans and Ivan Vackicev and were both excited and humble in receiving the prestigious award in front of many friends and family members.
With over 250 in attendance, the place was packed! There was much to see and do before the ceremony began with lively conversation and general merriment abounding. Television interviews, photographs, sponsor booths, a silent auction and the NationalFitnessMuseum’s mobile exhibit were some of the many things of which to be a part.
After the “Don of Sports” Awardees were recognized, I introduced who I now consider a mentor and friend, 2006 HOF Inductee - Dr. Bob Goldman. Dr. Bob introduced the co-Master of Ceremony, Tony Little; as they are long-time friends with great respect for each other.
If you only know Tony through his infomercials, you don’t know the half of him. Tony is all that you see on TV, but he is much more then that. He is a caring individual with passion that is obvious, he is a reflective person with a great knowledge and respect of fitness history and he has a sense of business that is utterly astounding. It was a great thrill for everyone to have the 2006 HOF Inductee there with his finance Robin.
Gilad Janklowicz, best known for his long running fitness show, “Bodies in Motion” is a true gentleman and a “handsome one” at that, according many who were excited to meet him. Said of one woman, “I exercised with Gilad everyday while I in college back in the late 80’s.”
I got a chance to get to know Gilad a little during dinner with him and girlfriend Dora the night before. Both are fascinating people. Gilad’s parents, Harold and Ora, (also terrific people) flew all the way in from Israel to be with their son on this momentous occasion. Several of Gilad’s friends also flew in from out of town to be there which was real nice.
John Abdo is originally from Norridge, Illinois so you know he had a large entourage of family and friends presents, including his mother, Alice and daughter Martina. John has always been a big supporter of The National Fitness Hall of Fame & Museum and it was great to see him voted in this year by his peers and contemporaries.
Dr. Thomas Sattler also an Illinois native and retired University of Illinois (UIC) professor. He had several tables of supporters, including many past students and current colleagues from Alliance Rehab. After the event Dr. Sattler commented, “The best part of the evening was revisiting with students I haven't seen in a long time.”
Keli Roberts and Linda Shelton were delightful as numerous people wanted to get pictures taken with these “iconic women of fitness.” They also had many supporters there to share in their special evening.
Thanks to Debi Pillarella and Pat Lipscomb, accepting on behalf of the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and Jacki Sorensen, respectively.
It is, of course, our hopes that all Inductees can made it in but we know that is not always possible. The three Inductees who could not make it in person (dues to medical reasons and other obligations) sent wishes of a great evening and provided written letters of acceptance. I hope to have the chance to personally present Betty Weider, Lou Ferrigno and Douglas Brooks with their HOF plaques.
Lastly, thanks to the entire staff of the Oak Meadows Golf Club for providing such great service. This was our second year at this venue and we could not have been happier. We are looking forward to returning next year!
Everyone make sure to mark your calendar for next year - March 16th 2008!