AFA Hosts Successful 30th Anniversary Hall of Fame Inductions

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Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois was the site for the American Football Association's 30th Hall of Fame Induction Dinner on Friday June 25th at the Hilton Suites Chicago/Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. Twenty Two individuals representing semi-pro football teams across the country were enshrined as 'legends' of their level.

There is only one semipro football hall of fame and that is the American Football Association

Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois was the site for the American Football Association's 30th Hall of Fame Induction Dinner on Friday June 25th at the Hilton Suites Chicago/Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. Twenty Two individuals representing semi-pro football teams across the country were enshrined as 'legends' of their level.

This year's semi-pro football enshrinement festivities began on Thursday evening with the annual AFA/HOF Alumni Huddle cocktail party. The "Huddle" provided attending HOF Alumni an opportunity to meet the new group of semi-pro football legends before they were inducted. Since the inaugural enshrinement in 1981 (including the Class of 2010) the AFA has recognized 357 players; 99 coaches; 79 executives; 28 officials; 22 pioneers; 20 media/historians; 13 trainer/equipment men; 6 associated with youth football; 5 involved with international semi-pro; 4 from the women's level; and even 1 'super fan'. The enshrinement of this year's class of 22 new hall of famers expands the 30-year total number of inductees from 612 members to 634 members.

On Friday evening, the Class of 2010 was honored by AFA Alumni, family and friends as they received their commemorative Semi-Pro Hall of Fame recognition plaques. Craig Ochoa (Class of '03) served as MC while former teammates and/or family members presented the new inductees to the dinner crowd. A slideshow accompanied each inductee's introduction which was followed by very sincere and touching testimony from each inductee. The highlight of the evening was the surprise induction of Ceil Real, wife of Ron Real, as a Pioneer. She truly was the "wind beneath the wings" of the AFA's late founder. The induction dinner event was also viewed by friends, family and fans around the world via live webcast.

This year's events were well received by all who attended based on some brief comments below:
"You guys do great work. Keeping this going is quite a task I am sure but you know, someone has to do it. And I do realize the work involved. Keeping Ron's dream alive is a great thing as well."
" Well run. I had a great time and everyone with me had a great time to. Some want to know where next years is lol. Great dinner. Everything was great. Like I said ever need anything just ask ! "

" Thank you to the AFA and yourself for all of the work you put into the Hall of Fame weekend. It was very professionally done and enjoyable. I think everyone involved did an outstanding job and made the evening very special for all of the inductees. I look forward to being involved more with the AFA and the great things all of you do."

"Thanks again for all the effort you and your committee put forward in making this happen. I was amazed by the stories that were shared during the event. Top Shelf ! This is something I'll have to cherish forever."

"I pray that all is well with you. I just want to take time to say thank you again for allowing me to be a part of the AFA HOF. I hold this a true honor and will value it dearly. I look forward to being a part of this organization for a long time. Your hospitality was second to none!!! Everything was done first class!! Thank you for the honor to stand among the greats of this business such as yourself. I will talk to you soon and gain some more insights from you about how we can go to the next level with our organization. Take care and continued blessings."

"There is only one semipro football hall of fame and that is the American Football Association"

This year's event was particularly challenging because of the AFA Board's decision in October 2009 to establish a firm date of the last week in June for all future inductions. This meant planning and executing the 2010 inductions in 8 months vs. the typical 12 months. Our sincere thanks to the Hilton Suites and Drury Lane Staff, the Elmhurst Travelers, the Real Family, and the AFA Hall of Fame Committee for their hard work in making this another successful event and again raising the bar.

The American Football Association is proud to present the names of those who will be enshrined into the AFA Semi-Pro Football Hall of Fame as the "Class of 2010" (names in parentheses indicate sponsors of the new inductees):
PLAYERS CATEGORY:
Chris Roe - West Dundee, Illinois - (Ed O'Reilly, Jr.)
Jack Perry - Wood Dale, Illinois - (Joe Wolfe, Jerry Schropp, Chico Cain, Roman Strzala)
Ben Ward - Chicago, Illinois - (Larry Schmidt, Norm Nissen, Gary Thomas, Neal Anderson, Fritz Fiorelli)
Bob Beshk - Bloomingdale, Illinois - (Pat O'Brien, Al Klaeren)
Ron Hansen - Winfield, Illinois - (Mal Yarke, Don Busch, Frank "Buzz" Grady, James Bejna)
Jesse Johnson - Oxon Hill, Maryland - (Steve Oldt)
Christian Fridrich - Crown Point, Indiana - (Howard Huntington)
Greg Fictum - New Holstein, Wisconsin - (Phil Micech)
Charles Brown - Chambersburg, Pennsylvania - (Richard Landis, Harry Hopple)
Stan Johnson - St Louis, Missouri - (Fred Robinson)
Jim Paulus - Anchorage, Alaska - (Doug Brozek)
Bill Kammert - Thornton, Illinois - (Bruce Basile)
Roosevelt Robinson - Hyde Park, Massachusetts - (Larry DeVoe)
Brent Bordenkircher - Springfield, Illinois - (Christopher F. Lawson)
Keith Ballard - New Orleans, Louisiana - (AFA Alumni)
Dennis Morris - Mulberry, Indiana - (AFA Alumni)    

EXECUTIVE CATEGORY:
Rev. Gary Wilder - Margate, Florida - (Dave Burch)

TRAINER/EQUIPMENT MANAGER:
James Kulton - Sheridan, Illinois - (Elmhurst Travelers)

OFFICIALS CATEGORY:
Vic Perry - Massena, New York - (Bill Higgins)
Joe Porter - Granville, New York - (Dick Leland)

COACHES CATEGORY:
Jerry Kupper - Racine, Wisconsin - (Jordan Kopac)

PIONEER CATEGORY:
Ceil Real - Chicago, Illinois - (AFA Board of Directors)

The webcast video of the 2010 Hall of Fame Inductions can now be viewed at: http://www.steveweedproductions.com/AFA.htm
Copies of this video can be obtained by contacting 315-782-8383: Office or 315-783-2171: Cell

View Photo Slide Show from the 2010 Hall of Fame Weekend: http://www.adcomphoto.phanfare.com/4729598

About the American Football Association:
The American Football Association is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax exempt corporation in its 30th year of operation and is dedicated to the advancement of adult (semi-pro) football from coast-to-coast. Our slogan is Semi Pro & Proud®. We are not affiliated with any other national semi-pro/minor league organization. The AFA, Hall of Fame, American Football News™ and AFA logo design are registered trademarks of the American Football Association. All other AFA-related trademarks are trademarks of the American Football Association.

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