SARANAC LAKE - Olympic champion Bill Demong will be the first inductee to the village's Walk of Fame.
Demong, who won gold and silver medals in Nordic combined ski jumping and cross-country skiing - at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, will be honored at a formal induction ceremony and gala reception slated for Saturday, May 14 at the Hotel Saranac.
The Walk of Fame was created last year by the village Board of Trustees as a way to recognize notable community residents, celebrate village history and market the area. The village board appointed a Walk of Fame Committee to consider nominees who fit the criteria of being "residents or former residents that have distinguished themselves positively on a national or international level in the arts, sciences, entertainment, sports, commerce, philanthropy and government, bringing honor to themselves and, by their residency in Saranac Lake, to (the) community."
Bill Demong lights a torch in a parade welcoming him and other local Olympians home on March 5, 2010 in Saranac Lake. In the background is the Harrietstown Town Hall, where a Saranac Lake Walk of Fame plaque will be set to honor Demong.
(Enterprise file photo — Mike Lynch)
Mayor Clyde Rabideau commended the selection of Demong as the first inductee.
"Bill Demong is an outstanding citizen of the greater Saranac Lake area who gave us tremendous pride and honor and exemplifies sportsmanship, American determination and drive and our community's contribution to the world," Rabideau said in a news release.
The village purchased a large, customized bronze plaque using last year's Mayor's Cup profits. The plaque to be unveiled at the ceremony features the village's new logo underscored by the words "Walk of Fame" and followed by the inscription, "William Demong, Olympic Champion."
The plaque will be installed on the front facade of the Harrietstown Town Hall, courtesy of the town board. The village originally planned to embed the plaques in sidewalks downtown but opted for building facades because of concerns that sidewalk plaques would be damage by road salt applications.
Rabideau said the village hopes to add to the Walk of Fame in the months and years ahead.
"We have many other outstanding nominations and inductees going forward, but right now, it's Bill Demong's hour," he said.
The Induction Ceremony and Gala Reception will kick off at 4 p.m., Saturday, May 14. Semi-formal attire is required for the event, which will feature entertainment, cocktails, hors d' oeuvres and several speakers and presenters.
Tickets to the event are $30 per person or $50 per couple. Rabideau said the money will be used to pay for the event, with any profits being put towards the purchase of additional plaques.
For reservations, the public can call the village offices at 891-4150 or visit the village's website at www.saranaclakeny.gov.