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Lake Placid Hall of Fame adds six members

September 17, 2012
By MIKE LYNCH - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

LAKE PLACID - Six people were inducted into the Lake Placid Hall of Fame Saturday night during a banquet at the Comfort Inn.

The 2012 class includes Jack and Joan Devitt, Shirley Hosler, Roy Kennedy Sr., James E. Shea Sr. and Charles C. Walker.

During the evening, each inductee was introduced by a friend or family member and then had a chance to speak to the audience.

Article Photos

Jack and Joan Devitt
(Enterprise photo — Mike Lynch)

Speaker Barbara Kelly, as she introduced the Devitts, mused about what it means to get into the hall of fame.

"It means that you have left your mark on the community," she said.

The Devitts were honored for their remarkable achievements in the Lake Placid skating world. The two have been coaches for close to 60 years, including more than 40 in Lake Placid.

Jim Shea Sr. was introduced by his son, Jim Shea Jr. They are part of three generations of the family to compete in the Olympics. Jim Sr.'s father, Jack, won gold medals in the 500-meter and 1,500-meter speedskating races at the 1932 Olympic Games in his hometown, Lake Placid. Jim Sr. was a 1964 Olympian in nordic combined and cross country skiing in Innsbruck, Austria, and Jim Jr. was a gold medalist in skeleton in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

"I'm a proud native of son of Lake Placid," Jim Shea Sr. said.

Jim McKenna, CEO of the Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau, spoke on behalf of Kennedy, a well-known publicist who promoted the village through his positions at the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce and other organizations. McKenna said one of Kennedy's main accomplishments was that he was able to get the New York Times to write about Lake Placid on several occasions, bringing a lot of attention to this little village.

Walker, an African-American ice skater and singer, was described by North Elba town Justice Jim Rogers as an ambassador for his people. Walker moved to Lake Placid in the late 1940s and lived here in the following decades.

"He became a real member of this community, singing for weddings, singing in church, helping out wherever he could," Rogers said, "and most of all, becoming a person that was respected and admired for who he was, not for the color of his skin. I've had black people tell me, when they came to live in Lake Placid, they discovered a welcoming community with very little prejudice - and soon found out it was because of our man."

As for Hosler, the charitable Saranac Laker was honored for contributions to society.

"Her call out is to help the needy with such skill and such good focus that she puts much of us to shame," Enterprise Publisher Cathy Moore said in introducing her.

Hosler sends care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan, has helped bring long lost relatives together and gives hundreds of gifts to residents in area nursing homes, including the Uihlein Living Center in Lake Placid, and needy families during the holidays.

"We live in a beautiful area with kind people where we can make a difference. I want to thank you for all of your generosity and giving me food and clothes for the poor, toys for the children, items to send to our sick soldiers overseas," Hosler said to the crowd. "You are what makes it possible to make things happen. There's still time. I'm not going anywhere until it happens. Let's start working at making the world better."



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