15 former Falcons honored at ceremony
By David Yarger
Saturday, the Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District welcomed 10 new members to its Falcon Wall of Fame, as well as five new inductees into its Athletic Hall of Fame. The ceremony also unveiled the new home for the Athletic Hall of Fame along the windows of the cafeteria hallway.
The Falcon Wall of Fame has been instituted to honor the lifetime achievements of the alumni and staff of the Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District, along with the district's community contributors. The Niagara-Wheatfield Athletic Hall of Fame has been reestablished to honor the athletic accomplishments of the alumni and staff of Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District.
Al Pogel began the event by saying, "This celebration today is not just an event, it is a confirmation. It is a reaffirmation of the greatness and goodness that is the spirit and very hallmark of Niagara-Wheatfield."
The ceremony began with the Falcon Wall of Fame inductees, which N-W legend Bill Ross and Bruce Strassburg introduced the honorees with remarks.
Wall of Fame inductees included:
•Richard Bartha, track and field coach of 56 years and teacher.
•Frank Brusino, teacher, administrator, coach and soldier.
•Armand "Ace" Cacciatore, teacher, Hall of Fame football and wrestling (330-13 record) coach, and philanthropist.
•James Campbell, teacher, athletic director and coach.
•Margaret Goff Clark, teacher and author.
•Pasqual (Pat) D'Amuro, FBI agent and security adviser to United States President George W. Bush.
•Eileen Dugan, actor, educator, director and producer.
•Dr. Christine Oliver, pediatrician and pediatric psychiatrist.
•Dr. Todd Orszulak, internist, philanthropist and conservationist.
•Dr. Louis Ray, scholar, author, educator and civil rights historian.
Athletic Hall of Fame inductees included:
•Caitlin Attfield, All-State softball record holder.
•Kristen Donato, state champion in track.
•Rashad Evans, football and wrestling athlete, and UFC champion.
•Rich Kilgour, football, basketball and lacrosse athlete, former Buffalo Bandits player and lacrosse coach.
•Angelo Malvestuto, state champion in wrestling.
Following the inductions, attendees watched the black curtains slide in the hallways to unveil the newest honorees.
New, this year, the Athletic Hall of Fame now has a personal home for every inductee. Those who walk through the cafeteria hallway will find the glass plaques, which honor those inducted.
Following the unveiling, Evans took a moment to express his gratitude toward the N-W community.
"Being part of this community, being part of this school - it's been the biggest key to my success. From the teachers, the coaches, my family and friends, you guys have been very impactful and you guys have been my strength," Evans said.
Evans also mentioned Cacciatore, Pogel, Lee Wallace, Bill and Dan Dixon, and Master Karl Brusino as big impacts in his time at Niagara-Wheatfield and further on in life.
The event finished up with a luncheon provided by the district's food service. The luncheon also worked as a social gathering for past connections to chat once again.
For more information on the Falcon Wall of Fame and Athletic Hall of Fame, visit www.nwcsd.org.