Mason County Sports Hall of Fame wins three international sports heritage awards

March 31, 2023

MCSHOF Board of Director members, left to right: Kristy Stark, Mike Hart, Theresa Shoop, Ed Miller, Todd Hansen and Kyle Gurzynski.

Mason County Sports Hall of Fame wins three international sports heritage awards

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — The Mason County Sports Hall of Fame (MCSHOF) recently received recognition from the International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA), winning three ISHY awards in three separate categories; Publications and Books, Educational Programming and New Exhibit.

Winning submissions included the MCSHOF Commemorative Book, honoring the Class of 2021, the 100th Anniversary of the 1921 Ludington Mariners Championship Season exhibit and the new exhibit and venue, “Beyond the Game: The Value of Sports” at the MCSHOF Museum located at Historic White Pine Village.

“What an honor for our organization to not only win one award, but to be selected as winners in all of our submissions, is just amazing,” said MCSHOF President Vic Burwell.

The International Sports Heritage Association is a non-profit membership organization incorporated in 1971. The mission of ISHA is to educate, promote and support organizations and individuals engaged in the celebration of sports heritage. ISHA includes nearly 150 regular members from countries such as China, New Zeeland, England, Switzerland, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States.

“Special thanks to Valerie van Heest and her entire team…for the creative wisdom and development that captured our vision of the importance of sports in the “Beyond the Game: The Value of Sports” exhibit, said Burwell. “And of course, to Rebecca Barringer, executive director of the Mason County Historical Society, and the entire MCHS for allowing us the space to bring our Hall of Fame to fruition.”

“The awards from the International Sports Heritage Association reflect a successful partnership between the sports history experts from the MCSHOF, who curated the exhibits and our design and fabrication team who interpreted their vision in ways that educate and inspire museum visitors,” said Valerie van Heest, project manager, curator and designer at Lafferty van Heest & Associates.

The MCSHOF, as part of their submission for the new exhibit category, wrote, “The purpose of the total remodel from a sports museum to a professionally orchestrated venue began with a unified belief that sports are about more than competition, they are also about life lessons; lessons such as perseverance, overcoming adversity and pursuit of excellence. The MCSHOF made a leap of faith when we voted to expand our purpose from solely honoring those who excelled at sport, to teaching the value of sport that reaches far beyond the game. An interactive, professionally designed and created exhibit now celebrates sport and the life lessons learned and demonstrated throughout life as a result of interactions in sport.”

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