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ST. ANDREW'S PARKS & PLAYGROUND
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St. Andrew’s Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame nomination period is now open!
The nomination period will close on Monday, March 20 and the Commission will vote on the nominees at the March meeting. We will announce the winner at spring sports opening day ceremonies on Saturday, April 1, 2023.
Click HERE (PDF) or HERE (Google docx) for Hall of Fame nomination form. All forms must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or dropped off at the administration office located at 1095 Playground Rd between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm.
The Parks and Playground Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made outstanding and lasting contributions to the community in various ways. The Hall of Fame, which was initiated by the St. Andrew’s Parish Parks and Playground Commission, is designed to honor individuals who have been a part of the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground family in some capacity throughout their lives.
To be selected, the inductees must meet the following criteria:
The inductees must have made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the community.
The inductee must have been involved with St. Andrew’s Parish Parks and Playground as a participant, parent, volunteer, Commissioner or employee.
The inductees' contributions must have been made in at least one of the following ways:
Athlete Criteria: Must have participated successfully in amateur or professional sport, having performed in such a way as an individual or member of a team, bringing special honor to the Playground.
Coach Criteria: Has participated successfully as a coach in amateur or professional sport at a local, state, national or international level, having performed in such a way, bringing special honor to the Playground.
Community Service Criteria: Must have attained a high level of excellence and brought recognition or honor to the Playground through on-going dedication to building of athletes, teams or the community at large. Nominee must have been a resident of St. Andrew’s at time of achievement(s) or represented a Playground program. Community Service can be defined as an elected official, Commissioner, administrator, referee, official, parent or volunteer.
Team Criteria: Must have attained a high level of excellence and brought honor to the Playground at a state, national or international level. Only teams representing the Playground will be considered.
Celebrity Criteria: Must have attained a high level of fame or celebrity and brought recognition or honor to the Playground. Said celebrity must have been a resident of St. Andrew’s at time of achievement(s) or represented a Playground sporting body. A celebrity can be defined as a media broadcaster, musician, actor, writer, etc.
Business Criteria: Business or business person must have made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the business community. Nominee must have been a resident of St. Andrew’s at time of achievement(s) or represented a Playground program.
Selection to the Hall of Fame is a great honor. No nominee shall be considered until at least ten years following the inductees’ first relationship with St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground.
Nominees will be considered for their contributions to the community warranted by historical review and evaluation of long term impact upon the community without regard to race, sex, religion, or age.
The Hall of Fame is open to the public and special commemorative plaques are on display at the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground headquarters in Charleston, South Carolina. The Hall of Fame is a fitting memorial to those leaders in the community who have been enriched by our philosophy and enhanced our environment.
2006 Hall of Fame Inductees
Carolyn Drose and Darius Rucker were named the inaugural inductees into the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground Hall of Fame at the agency’s holiday party Dec. 2. Carolyn Drose was honored for more than 30 years of dedicated service to St. Andrew’s, in which she serve as Administrative Assistant, Assistant Director and Executive Director. Upon retirement, she received the title of Director Emeritus. St. Andrew’s highest honor, Employee of the Year is named in her honor: The Carolyn Drose Award.
Darius Rucker, lead singer for the Grammy-award winning band Hootie and the Blowfish, was active in St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground from 1974-1979. Rucker began participating in multiple sports with the organization when he was 7 years old. He credits the programs, staff and volunteers of St. Andrew’s for providing a positive influence in the community. He was homored for reflecting positive values of St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground in the entertainment industry.
Darius Rucker receives his Hall of Fame plaque from Commission Chairman Jeff Gladwell
The Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made outstanding and lasting contributions to the community in various ways. It was established to honor up to three individuals per year in the categories of Community Service, Athlete, Coach, Business, Team or Celebrity who have been a part of the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground family in some capacity throughout their lives. Inducted 2006
2007 Hall of Fame Inductees
Robert Drose (deceased) was active with St. Andrew’s from 1962-1982. He was inducted for his many contributions to St. Andrew’s as a volunteer, coach and fundraiser. Drose led numerous successful projects to improve and expand the main St. Andrew’s facilities on Playground Road, and in 1966 coached the first St. Andrew’s baseball to reach the state tournament.
Tim Linker has been involved with St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground for nearly 40 years. He began as a volunteer T-ball coach in 1969 and has twice been named the St. Andrew’s Parks Volunteer of the Year. He currently continues to coach baseball at St. Andrew’s and work as a volunteer. Inducted 2007
2008 Hall of Fame Inductee
Jeff Gladwell, who served as Chairman of the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground Commission for 17 years, was inducted into the agency’s Hall of Fame at the annual St. Andrew’s awards dinner on Dec. 13.
Gladwell was appointed to the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground Commission in 1987 and became Chairman in 1991. During his tenure with the Commission, Gladwell oversaw numerous projects which enabled St. Andrew’s to continually provide quality recreation services and facilities, including the development of Volunteer Park, the implementation of the agency’s successful long term strategic plan and the purchase of a health club which became St. Andrew’s Family Fitness Plus.
“Jeff’s philosophy was always ‘it’s not worth doing if it’s not worth doing right,’” current St. Andrew’s Commission Chairman Mike Eykyn said. “Everyone involved with St. Andrew’s the last two decades has been positively affected by Jeff’s remarkable achievements on every level of our operations.
“His leadership and outstanding service to the community made our agency a model for parks and recreation excellence around the country.”
St. Andrew’s won numerous local, state and national parks and recreation industry awards under Gladwell’s leadership, including the 2001 and 2004 South Carolina Recreation and Parks Association’s Agency of the Year award, the 2004 National Parks and Recreation Association’s Outstanding Commission of the Year honor, the 2005 Sports Illustrated Good Sports Community of the Year and the 2004 and 2007 National Alliance for Youth Sports Excellence in Youth Sports award.
In addition, Gladwell was recognized as the 2004 SCRPA Citizen/Lay Volunteer of the Year. Gladwell stepped down as Chairman of the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground Commission earlier this year. He currently continues to serve as a Commissioner, and will retire shortly once a new Commissioner is appointed by Governor Mark Sanford via the Charleston County Council.
2009 Hall of Fame Inductee
Longtime youth sports volunteer Ricky Linker was the 2009 inductee into the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground Hall of Fame. Linker was honored at the agency’s annual awards dinner and a permanent bronze plaque commemorating his achievements was added to the Hall of Fame display at the St. Andrew’s headquarters.
Linker began volunteering at St. Andrew’s in 1970, and he was selected for the Hall of Fame for his enthusiasm for coaching and dedication to youth athletics. He coached more than 60 times over 40 years in baseball, football and basketball, and was a winner of the St. Andrew’s Parks Volunteer of the Year award. Inducted 2009
2010 Hall of Fame Inductees
Joe Latorre and JoAnn Lee were named the 2010 inductees into the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground Hall of Fame at the agency’s annual awards dinner.
The Hall of Fame was established by the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground Commission in 2006 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding and lasting contributions to the community via St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground in various ways.
Latorre was involved with St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground for nearly 60 years. As a youth growing up in West Ashley, he participated in a variety of sports and activities at St. Andrew’s, including baseball, football, boxing and horseshoes.
Latorre began coaching at St. Andrew’s in 1964, volunteering his time year-round to tutor and mentor children playing in the agency athletic programs. Latorre earned a reputation as a tireless fundraiser for money to take his players on out of town trips, traveling as far as Atlanta to take his teams to a Braves game.
For his dedication to area children, Latorre was honored in 1973 by the West Ashley Optimist Club with the prestigious Friend of Youth Award. In the late 1970s, Latorre became a St. Andrew’s employee, starting in the maintenance department and eventually becoming the Athletic Director, and running events such as the Halloween Carnival and the Christmas Parade during his tenure as a staff member. In the 1980s, Latorre earned a reputation as one of the top umpires in Dixie Youth baseball, where he was selected as a World Series umpire for ten consecutive years and was elected to the Dixie Youth National Board.
“Joe Latorre contributed so much in so many ways to St. Andrew’s and the community,” St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground Commission Chairman Mike Eykyn said. “There are multiple generations in the Lowcountry who benefited from his dedication to the kids.”
Lee was the original Tennis Director at St. Andrew’s, and is responsible for turning a little-used facility into one of the most popular places for tennis in Charleston. In 1990, she approached Carolyn Drose, then the executive director of St. Andrew’s, with a proposal to begin offering lessons and leagues at no cost to the agency. At the time, the brand-new courts were not known to the local tennis community, infrequently played on, and no organized classes or competition existed. Through Lee’s efforts, the courts soon became filled at all hours of the day with tennis programs for all ages and abilities offered.
Lee started a nationally acclaimed Wheelchair Tennis team and also a multi-cultural National Junior Tennis League to increase minority participation in St. Andrew’s tennis. At times, Drose had to make it mandatory that Lee go home for a few hours in the middle of the day because of the amount of hours she put in to build what became and continues to be one of the outstanding tennis programs in Charleston as well as the nation.
“JoAnn not only made the St. Andrew’s tennis facility popular with regular tennis players, she brought in many, many new players who might not have otherwise ever picked up a racquet,” Eykyn said. “She literally built our tennis program from scratch and turned it into a program to emulate.” Inducted 2010
2011 Hall of Fame Inductees
Benjamin Montgomery and Buddy Carter were named the 2011 inductees into the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground Hall of Fame at the agency’s annual awards dinner on Dec. 9.
The St. Andrew’s Parks Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made meaningful and lasting contributions to the community in a variety of ways through involvement with programs and services offered by the agency.
Mr. Montgomery was active with St. Andrew’s from 1970-1992 and earned induction for his devoted service as a youth sports coach, umpire and volunteer. He was honored as the St. Andrew’s Volunteer of the Year during his tenure, and also served the community in multiple capacities, including roles as President of the West Ashley Optimist Club and the local Paper Workers Union. In additon, Mr. Montgomery, who passed away in 2009, also worked with the American Legion baseball program.
Mr. Carter began volunteering with St. Andrew’s in 1970 and remains active with the agency. He has served in a variety of roles with the Parks and Playground, including coaching, volunteering and as an employee. Mr. Carter has been the Athletic Department’s part-time Employee of the Year on multiple occasions, and is respected throughout the Lowcountry as a top umpire for multiple youth baseball organizations, including Babe Ruth Baseball, Dixie Baseball and at St. Andrew’s. Inducted 2011
2012 Hall of Fame Inductees
Katrina McClain and Dusty Rhodes were inducted into the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground Hall of Fame as the Class of 2012 in December, 2012.
Katrina McClain Active: 1975-1980 Honored for her outstanding achievements athletically and in the community. Arguably the greatest athlete to come out of St. Andrew’s Parks. Her accomplishments include: Established the Katrina McClain Foundation in her hometown of Charleston to further her commitment to mentoring and educating youth. Inducted 2012 Two-time Olympic Basketball Gold Medalist 1987 NCAA Women’s Basketball Player of the Year Member of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Led St. Andrew’s H.S. to 1983 S.C. State Title
Dusty Rhodes Dates of Service: 1991-2011 Honored for his devotion as a coach and volunteer, and his dedication to improving all aspects of programs, facilities and services at St. Andrew’s. One of the most popular coaches in St. Andrew’s history because of his ability to make every practice, game and season fun for the kids. Manager of the St. Andrew’s 2004 Dixie Baseball 13-year olds State Championship team. Extensive community service with the Exchange Club, First Baptist Church, and helping his players achieve academic success and character development. Inducted 2012
2013 Hall of Fame Inductee
Ryan Condon is the 2013 inductee into the St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground Hall of Fame.
Ryan Condon Service began: 1975 Honored for his dedication to St. Andrew’s as a volunteer, participant and contributor. Respected coach of numerous youth teams in multiple sports for more than 20 years. Generously sponsored many teams through his successful restaurant businesses. Inducted 2013
2014 Hall of Fame Inductee
Michael Bennett Service began: 1962 Honored for his contributions to St. Andrew’s as a player, coach, and sponsor. All Star participant in baseball, basketball, and football from 1962-1970. Six-time state boxing champion as part of the famed St. Andrew’s Parks program. Generous donor in the Charleston community and sponsor of many St. Andrew’s teams through his successful businesses. Inducted 2014
2015 Hall of Fame Inductees
The 2005 St. Andrew's Parks and Playground Dixie Boys World Series Championship Team was the 2015 inductee into the St. Andrew's Parks and Playground Hall of Fame.
The team went 17-1 overall in District, State, and World Series play, and defeated Newton County, Georgia, 6-5, in the championship game of the Dixie Boys World Series in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, bringing St. Andrew's Parks its first World Series title. Players ages 13-14 compete in the Dixie Boys division.
Players on the team were Nick Berry, Brison Celek, Ryan Connolly, Chaz Cooper. Travis Cooper, Kurt Cubberley, Corey Forrester, Josh Hickman, Robert Judelsohn, Ethan Mayo, Brian Solomon, Brandon Stone, and Ryan Walker.
Butch Forrester was the Manager, with assistant coaches Billy Buck, Alan Cooper and Cary Hickman. Inducted 2015
2016 Hall of Fame Inductee
Charles Martin "Pops" Parker whose service began in 1967 and lasted to the year of his passing in 2015, was the 2016 inductee into the St. Andrew's Parks and Playground Hall of Fame.
Honored for his devotion to coaching at St. Andrew’s Parks for nearly 50 years. He volunteered countless hours to coach boxing, softball, and baseball. "Pops" was respected and admired for his focus on teaching the proper fundamentals of each sport especially with younger age groups. He was the patriarch of four generations of the Parker family who have all been involved with St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground activities. Inducted 2016
2018 Hall of Fame Inductee
"Miss Lillian" Mason is honored for her years of dedication to caring for the children at St. Andrew’s Family Fitness Plus. She was a dedicated employee from 1989 through 2012. The Commission purchased the facility in 1989 and the it was often said that Miss Lillian came with the building.
She created a true family atmosphere in the nursery and became the "Nana" to many children over the years. She will also be remembered for the beloved cookies that she would hand out.
Service Began 1991
Honored for her many years of service and commitment as a Tae Kwon Do instructor. Emily has earned her 6th degree black belt and has taught countless students this ancient martial art.
Emily volunteers for several area non-profit organizations. She and her husband Steve have also given generously to her students, to St. Andrew's and to the Charleston Community.
She has enjoyed instilling in her students the importance of dedication and commitment; and making students work hard to become stronger and more assertive in Tae Kwon Do and in life.
2019 Hall of Fame Inductee