It’s been a big year for the Patchogue-Medford Hall of Fame project.
In August, the booster club founders established themselves as a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
They started collecting donations and sponsorships toward a $500,000 hall of fame building that will — one day — welcome all students, staffers and visitors to the high school.
And now they’re announcing the 2016 inductees, 10 people in all and an athletic team.
The names range from Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy (1994), to Hollywood actor Kevin Connolly (1992), to Massachusetts federal court judge Denise Jefferson Casper (1986).
The 1977 varsity football team is also being inducted this spring. (Full list below.)
“This is something that has not been seen in any other district to our knowledge,” said Manny Felouzis, the booster club’s president. “We know of about 15 [districts] that have sports halls of fame, but we haven’t seen anything going in the direction that we’re moving.”
The Patchogue-Medford Hall of Fame will honor distinguished graduates, along with other people who have contributed to the schools and the wider community, in three categories: sports, music, fine arts and entertainment, and a general category.
The inaugural class was chosen by the group’s board, but future inductees will be nominated by the public and then picked by a committee in each of the three categories.
The fundraising goal is to build a physical Hall of Fame in front of the high school’s existing entrance, Felouzis said, with an estimated cost currently at $500,000.
“In the Hall of Fame we can show information at any given time, on any given topic, running on digital displays, but keeping in mind that it will be continuously showing information about the inductees,” he said. “We’ll also have the latest news from within the district as well as Patchogue-Medford history, which really needs to be regained and retold for future generations.”
There will also be an online-only learning center component to the project.
The group is working with district administrators.
In the meantime, the booster club has scheduled a May 6 induction dinner to be held at the high school, where the group will also announce its first-ever Person of the Year inductee, who will join the ranks of the Hall of Fame along with the others.
“It’s going to be student driven, with the students conducting the ceremony, reading the bios of the inductees,” Felouzis said. “Because this is indirectly affiliated with the district, we want students involved. We’ll have some of our inductees doing a mentoring day, talking about their time here and how they ended up choosing the careers they went into.”
Denise Jeffferson Casper (1986)
Kevin Connolly (1992)
Anthony Famiglietti (1996)
Lt. Michael Murphy (1994)
John Papanek (1969)
Nancy Bikoff Pettit (1971)
Paul Pontieri (1965)
Renee Felice Smith (2003)
Marcus Stroman (2009)
W. Burgharht Turner (teacher)
1977 Varsity Football Team
PERSON OF THE YEAR
announced at the induction dinner
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Photo: Conceptual drawing for the Patchogue-Medford Hall of Fame. (courtesy)