Pat-Med Hall of Fame grows- Class of 2018 announced
Eight Patchogue-Medford alumni and one team will join the Booster Club’s Hall of Fame this spring. The ‘Class of 2018’ becomes the third class of inductees to the hall of fame, founded by Manny Felouzis in 2015 as a way to recognize standout graduates of all disciplines.
This year’s induction ceremony will be held on Friday, April 13 at Patchogue-Medford High School. Tickets, $40, can be purchased by contacting the Hall of Fame at: 631-275-7924 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and includes a 5 p.m. dinner ahead of the 7 p.m. induction ceremony.
A Pat-Med graduate himself, Felouzis is passionate about honoring local history and hopes to raise $500,000 for an eventual hall of fame lobby and learning center in the high school. He sees the hall of fame endeavor as a way of preserving local history but also intriguing young families. “People might wonder why we need this, why this is beneficial. It will help show people who want to come into the community what we’re all about and all of the positive changes happening,” he said. “People are looking to Pat-Med again as a place to live and educate their children.”
This year’s class of inductees includes:
Douglas Brode: After graduating from Patchogue High School in 1961, Brode became a high school teacher and moved on to teaching English at the college level. He became the creator and coordinator of Cinema Studies at Onondaga Community College in upstate New York. Brode later wrote over 40 books related to film as well as working on such motion pictures as “Midnight Blue” and “Aviatrix.”
Christopher Cara: Cara is the only high school All-American lacrosse player to come out of PMHS. A 2001 high school graduate, Cara went on to Bucknell University, where he led the nation in scoring his junior and senior years. He was selected for induction into their hall of fame and later played several seasons with the Long Island Lizards professional lacrosse team.
Baron Degner: Degner was a beloved administrator and mentor to many students at Patchogue-Medford High School. The Patchogue Rotary honored his memory by dedicating a memorial garden in his name at Patchogue-Medford High School.
Nicholas Garone: After graduation in 1986, Garone was a NYS wrestling champion and continued his wrestling success in college. He nearly made it to the USA Olympic wrestling team, but due to injury, was unable to move past trials. He now coaches wrestling at a local high school.
Danielle Kaiser: A standout varsity basketball player at both Patchogue-Medford High School and St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, Kaiser is a 1998 graduate of PMHS. She achieved All-County status as a high school player and was selected to the St. Joseph’s College Hall of Fame.
Robert Rightmire: Rightmire was a well-respected member of the teaching faculty at Patchogue-Medford High School. He produced numerous plays and musicals at the high school, along with his dear friend and now fellow hall of fame inductee Bert Pollock. Author of numerous books and articles, Rightmire was well loved and respected by his students and colleagues.
Sam Stahlman: Stahlman is a WWII veteran of the D-Day invasion, where he received a Purple Heart. A longtime resident of the Village of Patchogue, Stahlman is a well-known businessman, was involved in many community organizations including the Lions, was a substitute teacher in the Patchogue-Medford School District as well as a volunteer coach for the high school varsity football team. Stahlman is a past recipient of the Temple Emanuel of Patchogue.
Michael Jude Ward-Bergeman: This class of 1988 Patchogue-Medford graduate has gone on to become a world-renowned musician and entertainer. Ward-Bergeman took the musical talents he honed as a music student in Pat-Med and went on to a stellar career at Berklee College of Music. As Ward-Bergeman began touring the world, bringing his unique talents to share with people all over the world, he came into contact with world-renowned musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma, performing in such places as the jungles of South America, concerts throughout Europe and Carnegie Hall. A Grammy Award winner, Ward-Bergeman performed his GIG365 and with his group Groanbox.
1980 Girls Varsity Bowling Team: This outstanding group of student-athletes became New York State bowling champions, while capturing league and county titles on their rise to the top. The Lady Raiders were honored by the local chapter of the Kiwanis Club for their numerous accomplishments and titles.
Team members include:
Nance Coccia, Cathy Roy, Colleen Browning, Linda Frabizio, Irma Lorenze (Coach), Paula Kipp, Kim Botts, Beth Newham, Peggy Darling, Sandra Johnson, Dolores Tanner, Debbie Knoth and Robin Wood.
Three individuals will also receive special recognition awards:
Cynthia Quinn (deceased), art teacher and track coach, beloved by her students and peers. She made a lasting impression on countless young lives. Quinn was murdered while on a Saturday morning run 20 years ago.
Michael Lauria, class of 1997. Lauria has been an active community member and as owner of Rudi’s Bar and Grill Restaurant, has given back to his home community by his never-ending support for community projects, fundraisers to help out other residents in times of trouble, donating time, space within this establishment for fundraisers and generously giving of himself to help others in need.
The Hall of Fame will also honor a Person of the Year, but has not announced that decision yet. n
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