From Orange County Commissioner Rod Love
Last weekend, the Apopka community came together for the Apopka Sports Hall of Fame Ceremonial Luncheon, where they witnessed the inauguration of the First Apopka Sports Hall of Fame class.
The Apopka Sports Hall of Fame was established under the auspices of the International Leadership Consortium for Communities, Inc. (ILCC). Founded by Ms. L. Sherrie Parker, the ILCC is an organization whose mission is to empower the community by providing mentoring to youth, as well as, outreach, education, scholarships and business/vocational training to community members.
To honor the rich history and heritage of Phillis Wheatley Sports, the first class of inductees included a select number of former student-athletes and coaches from Phillis Wheatley High School (“Panthers”) from the 1950’s and 1960’s (pre-integration era). During this period, African American student-athletes and coaches paved the way with extraordinary athletic achievements that had not yet been recognized.
A total of 44 nominees were inducted (including posthumously) into the inaugural Apopka Sports Hall of Fame. Each year thereafter, additional inductees will be selected, including honorees from Apopka High School and additional honorees who have made significant contributions to the community. Three individuals had been selected to receive the 2018 Community Hero award (posthumously) as they had exemplified the ideals of true community pioneers and trailblazers in supporting their community: Mr. Marvin C. Zander; Dr. James Subbs, Sr.; and Mr. James “Red” Johnson.
This was a community event and proceeds will be used to help an array of youth sports leadership and academic support programs and services. There were over 300 people in attendance at the event. Notable attendees included City of Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson and his wife, Debbie, City of Apopka Commissioner Alexander Smith, Former State Representative Dr. Alzo J. Reddick and Former NFL Football Player Sammie Smith. I am truly pleased by the turnout and success of this event and feel that it is a great way to honor those who have utilized their talents to inspire, bring change, and help the greater good of the Apopka community. This event was an excellent opportunity for Apopka youth to learn about the rich history and heritage of the inductees and those whose shoulders they stand on; our young people have the chance to reflect on the contributions of the inductees and inspire themselves to go beyond in their accomplishments and future endeavors.