The 2014 Banquet held at CMOG on March 8, 2014 was a huge success

This was the HOF's 40th annual banquet and  17 new  members were inducted into the Hall.  The George Bacalles Memorial Award was presented to 5 CPP East & West Senior Athletes.  Two other very special awards - the Frank Watts Memorial Award and the Bob Box Directors Award were also presented. 

For much more about the 2014 Banquet, click here:

The over 200 guests and honorees at the 40th annual Hall of Fame Banquet were first welcomed at a reception upstairs in the lobby area at CMOG.
Just before 6.00 the call to dinner was issued, and after all the guests were seated, the new inductees marched into the auditorium and up onto the stage to loud applause. Masters of Ceremony for the evening, John Abercrombie and Brad Aulin got things going and presented Joe Tobia who gave the invocation and the memorial to deceased members.  Following that HOF President, Oystein (Sandy) Ostebo officially welcomed everyone to this special anniversary dinner.  He specifically referred to the fact that there is only one of the original Charter Directors who is still living - Don Bonnell, and he presented a special greeting from Don.  From the first group of inductees in 1975 only three remain - Paul Colacecchi, Gary Wydman and Ron Childs.  Paul and Gary are both in the Dallas, Texas area, and Sandy read greetings from both (see below).  Ron now lives in Riverside and was able to be at this year's banquet.  When he was inducted in 1975, he was unable to attend as he was working fro Corning Glassworks in Blacksburg, VA, so his dad accepted the award for him.  Therefore,  Sandy asked him to come up on stage and officially welcomed him into the Hall.  After the introductions of some other special guests and a few Thank You's, dinner was served.  During dinner a slide show of pictures from the first 40 years were shown on multiple screens. 

First on the program after dinner was Steve Currie, who presented a Special Achievement Award to Jessica Lawson, who won multiple state titles in Cross Country last fall and qualified for the Footlocker Nationals in San Diego and also won the Indoor 3000m title.  The HOF has presented a Special Achievement Award for several years to local athletes/teams who win a NY State Championship. (See below)

Following that, Brad Aulin presented the Frank Watts Memorial Award to Richard Krebs and Eldon Dykes, and Sandy presented the Bob Box Directors Award to Tom Tranter (More on these in other articles on the front page). 

Next up was George Bacalles who presented the George Bacalles Memorial Award, and then it was time for our guest speaker, Shawn Vargo to address the audience.  From there Larry French took over and presented the new new inductees into the Hall.  Each new inductee was introduced and presented (one at a time) by a member of the HOF Board of Directors. (See separate articles on all these).

The evening's program was closed a bit after 10 pm with the singing of God Bless America.

The Follwing articles are written by Shawn Vargo and

published in the Corning Leader on March 9 and March 10



Posted Mar. 9, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

CORNING – The Corning-Painted Post Sports Hall of Fame celebrated its 40th anniversary by inducting 17 new members into its ranks.

The banquet, held at the Corning Museum of Glass, also honored five student-athletes via the George Bacalles Memorial Award, while three contributors and one state champion were also lauded for their efforts.

The evening got off to a fun start when Ron Childs, a member of the very first Hall of Fame class, who was not able to be at the initial ceremony in 1975, was introduced and honored 40 years later. Childs, a 1966 graduate of West High, was the team leader in points his senior season, before a successful basketball career at Corning Community College and SUNY Geneseo.

Before the newest class of inductees was introduced, several other awards were handed out.

Corning Hawks runner Jessica Lawson received special recognition for her back-to-back state and federation championships during the cross country and indoor track and field seasons.

Two men were awarded the Frank Watts Memorial Award for their longtime support of area sports. Eldon Dykes, for his 30-plus years of support of Corning sports, as well as Richard Krebs, who has meticulously run the scoreboards for just about every home sporting contest for more than a decade.

The Bob Box Directors Award went to Tom Tranter, Jr., President of Corning Enterprises, for the help he has provided the Hall of Fame in securing its current home for the banquet, as well as for finding the Hall’s permanent home for its plaques and display cases at 1 West Market Street.

Tranter has been a big piece of the engine that has brought the Hall to its current level over the last few years.

For the final time since its inception in 1985, the George Bacalles Award honored the top male and female athletes from both East and West High Schools. Five athletes in total were honored Saturday – Michelle Crook and Thomas Moshier from East, as well as Hailey Blencowe, Sam Chauvin and Devin Li from West.

Next year, with the opening of the new C-PP High School, the Bacalles Award will go to the top two male and female athletes from the merged school – keeping the tradition of honoring four athletes.

One of the most interesting inductees to the Hall of Fame this year, also made the longest journey to attend, Saturday. Gavin Roush, who becomes the first to be honored for the sport of Ultimate Frisbee, traveled from Finland, where he works and coaches Ultimate Frisbee.

"This is new territory for us," Hall of Fame President Sandy Ostebo said in his introduction of Roush.

Roush’s speech introduced the audience to the world of Ultimate Frisbee and his world travels that were a result of the sport.

Page 2 of 2 - Archer Jeffrey Cortright also is known world wide as a result of his world championships won in 2012. Cortright especially thanked his mother-in-law for her contribution to his success.

Throughout the evening, inductees did a fine job thanking, not only friends and family, but former teammates, as well – none more thoroughly than Felix Forbes, Jr.

"I cannot accept this award on my own," Forbes said, before naming key teammates from his Corning East football and lacrosse playing days.

Other inductees included Mike Donovan (bowling), Lindsay Benjamin Nix (soccer), Michelle Kirk (basketball), Marissa Weil (volleyball) and contributors Jim Townsend, Robert A. Adams and Robert T. Adams.

Lacrosse added seven new members, giving it the highest total of new Hall of Fame members.

From brother and sister Bryan and Allison Bayer, brothers David and Duncan Streeten, to Brittany Philip, Scott O’Donnell and Matthew Warner, pride and praise for their East High and West High roots were on display in full force.

The Hall of Fame also announced that its second annual bowling tournament fundraiser will be held at noon on Nov. 9 at Crystal Lanes. For more information on the Hall of Fame, check out its website,


  Thank you C-PP Hall of Fame

Posted Mar. 10, 2014 @ 7:46 pm

The Corning-Painted Post Sports Hall of Fame celebrated its 40th annual banquet Saturday at the Corning Museum of Glass.

It was a very big evening for everyone being honored, from the Hall of Fame inductees, to the George Bacalles, Bob Box and Frank Watts Award winners. It was a big night for me, as well, as I was chosen to address the audience as the guest speaker.

Being lucky enough to spend my life surrounded by sports, I can truly appreciate the Hall of Fame. It is a big undertaking for the officers and board of directors. Luckily, they make it look easy – which makes it much easier for me.

While The Leader’s coverage of the event was spread out over three pages of the sports section on Monday, I’d like to let you in on some of the behind-the-scenes nuggets from Saturday’s festivities.


We at The Leader had our hands very full on Saturday.

The Notre Dame boys basketball team and the Horseheads girls basketball teams were both playing in state quarterfinal contests in Onondaga and Binghamton, respectively.

We tried to staff both of the games with writers, but the request to bump up our press run an hour due to the clock change Saturday night kept Chris Gill in Corning, while Bob Benz and Eric Wensel ventured to Binghamton for the Blue Raiders’ game.

A big round of applause goes out to the crew for its local hoops coverage and the quick turnaround of the stories and photos.

An extra shout-out goes to Eric for hustling back to Corning in time to begin taking photos of the Hall of Fame award winners.

Say yes to the dress

Probably the biggest thing that hindered my getting ready for Saturday night was the simple task of getting dressed.

I purchased a new suit two years ago when I was a guest speaker for the Corning Hawks football banquet in 2012.

The suit was ready to go Saturday, but I wasn’t ready to wear it.

Turns out, the 35 pounds I lost as part of 2013 New Year’s resolution made the suit un-wearable. I probably should have checked this out before 4 p.m. Saturday night, but would have made too much sense.

Six pairs of old pants and five jackets later, I left wearing something my wife assured me, was "Ok". She offered up the added encouragement that it would be fine, going with the assumption that it wouldn’t be too bright in CMoG, "would it?"


Say no to beer

Because of butterflies, I chose to not imbibe any alcohol – just water. Apparently, butterflies gain strength drinking water, because they all grew three sizes prior to speech time.

Kids’ wisdom

I was very happy to have my wife and children with me Saturday. It’s a rare occasion that my kids get to see me work.

When Master of Ceremonies Brad Aulin began to introduce me, my photo was projected behind the lectern.

"Good luck," my son Ryan whispered to me.

"Thank you," I replied, feeling a little more at ease.

Then it was my daughter Erin’s turn to offer some encouragement.

"That picture makes you look so fat," she said with a big smile.

And with that, it was time to address the crowd.

Way to keep it positive, kiddo.


While the Hall of Fame banquet comes around just once a year, the work that is put into the banquet is a year-round entity. President Oystein "Sandy" Ostebo, Vice President John Abercrombie, Secretary Larry French, Treasurer Dave Miller and Directors Brad Aulin, Steve Currie, Rich Fiacco, Lisa Freeman, Irene Furness, Ericka Graves, Sharon Miller, Joe Stratton, Bob Thompson, Joe Tobia and Gary Waksmunski deserve a huge thanks from the community for all they do.

This event keeps getting better and better each year and I’m happy to have been considered worthy enough to be a part of it on its special anniversary.

Please check out the Hall of Fame plaques and displays at 1 West Market Street. Also check out its website,

Shawn Vargo is the sports editor and can be reached at or follow him on Twitter @TheLeaderVargo


The following pictures were taken by Eric Wensel of the Corning Leader











Jessica Lawson - State Champion: Cross Country & 3000m Indoor Track




Greetings from Paul Colacecchi:

How can that be ? Forty years since the initial "Corning-Painted Post " hall of fame conception. The brain child of a few, has blossomed into a major event for the area, many thanks to them and current officials.

The Twin Tiers has been a hot bed for athletes for a century in all sports. When one looks back over the years, there was a talent pool developed in the area that is truly outstanding. That is a reflection of the community and its priorities and the dedication by coaches and others to compete in local & state sport activities.

As a charter member of the HOF, that means I go back a few years. But I’m sure there are others who – like me - remember the Saturday a.m. baseball practices at 7 a.m. held at Dennison Park. If you were late, you didn't play next game (no exceptions). Principles and responsibility that were instilled during those formative years thru sports carried over to adulthood.

One thing that seemed to be a community flavor was to help up & coming talent to exceed, regardless of the sport - by helping either thru knowledge or personal experiences.

Being a charter member is a highlight of my athletic endeavors, and I'm very proud to be a charter member. Currently, I'm retired in Texas, enjoying "Golden Years" with my wife of 52 years (Corningnite Patty Henyan). We have 3 children & eight grandkids(7 boys & 1 girl). Getting old is not for the weak !

Congratulations to all the inductees this evening and best wishes to the Hall of Fame for many more successful years!

Paul Colacecchi

Class of ‘75

Paul Colacecchi graduated from Northside HS in 1959 where he was the ace pitcher for the baseball team.  The Philadelphia Phillies sent him to Ithaca College for 1 year on the Eddie Sawyer Foundation.  After playing summer ball in Ontario, he was invited to a tryout with the SF Giants  and was offered a nice signing bonus, so he started his pro career with the Giants.  His first year was in the Midwest League with the Quincy Giants that won the league title with Paul recording 12 wins and 8 losses.  He won two of the championship games including the clincher. San Francisco gave him a big league contract that fall, and he had an 8-3 record in winter ball and was all-star right handed pitcher.  The following 2 years he played in El Paso, TX and Springfield, Mass, but his arm gave out so he decided to leave baseball.

He and his wife moved to Phoenix, Arizona in ’64 where he got a job in the health club business.  He was transferred to Dallas, TX and was a company vice-president when he left the company after 12 years.  After that worked in the oil business for 7 years  running his own company, and then did various consulting work for several years.  He is now retired and living in Dallas with his wife of 52 years (former Corningite, Patty Henyan)



Greetings from Gary Wydman:

Greetings to the Hall of Fame Members, Inductees and Guests

When I was contacted regarding the Hall of Fames’ 40th induction ceremony, it brought back many fond memories of CFA, my coaches, teammates and those friends and adults who touched my life. It seems incredible that it was 40 years ago that I was inducted as a charter member of the Corning Painted Post Sports Hall of Fame. Upon reflection, I can’t think of an honor more meaningful than to be recognized by your community, peers and those who were charged with the responsibility to evaluate prospective candidates. I considered it then and still do, as one of the highlights of my athletic career and I am eternally grateful to those who thought I was worthy enough to enter the Hall of Fame.  It is especially gratifying to be included in the Hall with my Dad who was inducted as a contributor.

My congratulations to those who are entering the Hall this year and I hope this recognition will be as meaningful to you as it was to me. I would also like to thank and congratulate the past and present officers and contributors, who have enabled the operations and the traditions of the Corning Painted Post Hall sports of Fame to continue and prosper.

I wish you continued success.

Thank you,

Gary Wydman ‘75

Gary Wydman graduated from Corning Free Academy in 1960 after playing four years as the football team’s quarterback.  As a senior he scored 114 points and was named to the West Central Conference First Team and the All-American High School Team.  He received a scholarship to play at Penn State, where he was the team’s top scorer as a freshman halfback.

Playing quarterback in his senior year, Gary was named to the All-East second Team and was voted the MVP in the Blue-Gray game in Mobile, Ala.  He guided Penn State to the upset of the year when the Nittany Lions toppled Ohio State 27-0.

After Penn state Gary went to work for Corning Glass Works and worked for them in sales, sales marketing, marketing management and human resources for 21 years before starting his own company in Dallas, TX in 1986.  Gary is president of Wydman & Associates, Inc., Recruiting Consultants.  He and his wife, Susan will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this December; they have three children.



Ron Childs

Ron Childs graduated from West HS in 1966, and as a senior he was the basketball team’s top scorer. From there he went to Corning Community College for 2 years where he established a single season scoring record with 370 points and led the team to its first winning season in the early stages of the school’s basketball program.  After CCC he spent two years at SUNY Geneseo where he was named the most valuable player of the varsity basketball team both seasons.  He was a team co-captain at both CCC and Geneseo.

After Graduating from Geneseo, Ron spent some time with the Army Reserves and worked for the Veterans administration on Long Island before going to work for Corning Glass Works in 1973 as a foreman for the Major Appliance division on Steuben St. For the next 36 years he worked in various divisions – including World Kitchen, but as Quality Control supervisor and an ISO manager he primarily worked with quality control and production processes until retiring in 2009.  He now resides in Riverside and still gets calls from time to time to come in and consult on some production issues.  He enjoys playing golf – especially when he has a chance to head south for a few rounds with former WHS classmate and friend, fellow Hall of Famer, Al Magee.



Don Bonnell

Don Bonnell graduated from Northside HS in 1938 and shortly thereafter went to work for the Elmira Advertiser & Sunday Telegram. Then in 1951 he was asked to join the Community Relations division of the Corning Glass Works’ Public Relations departments and worked for them for over 20 years before returning to the news paper business with Elmira Star Gazette in 1974.  He retired in 1984, but his retirement was short-lived as he went to work for the Corning Senior Citizens Center and remained with them until 1999.   Don was particularly interested in sports and not only covered all the local sporting events with his writing and pictures but also researched the athletic accomplishments of local athletes who had moved away from the Corning area – such as the famed baseball players from Caton, James (Deacon) and William White. Don, in fact got to be such a recognized authority on local sports that the Corning Lions Club named him the Sportsman of the Year in 1972.  So he was the logical person to ask to help out when a group of area sportsmen got together during the summer of 1974 to form a local sports hall of fame.  Don was asked to join the Board of Directors and helped getting the first set of bylaws together and was put in charge of identifying the first group of athletes to be inducted.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a contributor in 1981 and remained with the Hall as a director until 1994.