The Eddie Conners Award Committee has decided to use a local service club to maintain and to officiate at the presentation of the awards in order that the award may be continued in perpetuity. After careful consideration, the committee has chosen the Kiwanis Club of Greater Terre Haute to perpetuate the Eddie Conners Award. The club, which has a dedication to the youth of the community, has accepted the committee's request with great pleasure.
Eddie Conners, a citizen of Terre Haute for many, many years, dedicated his life to the encouragement of young men to become good, clean athletes. Practically every play field in the community was visited regularly by Eddie, and he would give freely of his time and advice to the young men who were interested in sports. He was able to both encourage and inspire these boys to work toward improvement. Today, many successful citizens in our community will freely admit that Eddie Conners has been a good influence in their lives.
Some of these men, including Jim Hollis, Sid Levin, and Paul Mascari, decided that a suitable memorial should be provided to honor this man who had made so many fine contributions for the good of the boys of our community. They solicited funds for this purpose, with the hope that the honor might be in the nature of an annual award to some athlete in the community in the name of Eddie Conners, and explored ways to develop the project. The committee had adequate funds available in a relative short time. Recognizing the many awards, which are provided high school athletes, the committee members finally settled on the eighth grade as an area where there has been little recognition and where there was need for motivation. The committee is hopeful that the principals of schools, which have the eighth grade, will cooperate in implementing the project. Below is a statement of the purpose of the Eddie Conners Award and the method by which nominations will be made. Also, criteria for judging nominees for the Eddie Conners Award is indicated.
The Eddie Conners Award has been initiated to motivate eighth grade students toward high quality development commensurate with their potentialities. Each school in Vigo County, which has an eighth grade, is eligible to nominate a candidate for the award. The nomination is to be made by the school principal who will write a letter describing how the candidate measures up to the criteria. Additional information may be included in the letter.
All letters of nominations will be given to the Selection Committee. This committee will make the selection on the basis of their best judgment of the information provided in the letters of nomination.
HISTORY OF EDDIE CONNERS AWARD COMMITTEE
In the fall of 1962, James Hollis, Paul Mascari, and Sidney Levin were having a cup of coffee at the Indios Coffee Shop at Second and Wabash. The usual topics of the day were discussed and we came upon the subject of Sandlot Ball. The name of Eddie Conners being synonymous with sandlot ball, I asked what had become of him. Jim Hollis related that Conners had died and was buried in a pauper’s grave.
After discussing the great good this man had done in promoting sports and sportsmanship with the youth of this area, it was mutually agreed that we would put a marker on his grave and also start an award fund in his memory.
Mr. James Conover and Mr. Donas Dischinger, of the Vigo County School Corporation, were called in to give us assistance in projecting this program to the schools. It was also mutually agreed that the Catholic schools are invited to participate. A public file was made for funds through the Tribune-Star. This gave us sufficient funds and interest to proceed. Certificates were printed and the Mayor was asked to participate in the giving of awards on the City Hall steps. The principal of each school teaching eighth grade in this area was asked to select an outstanding boy who would qualify for the rules which are described on another page in this book.
Our original three men were to serve as chairman each - once in three years. It is coincidental that the original three men consist of Catholic, Protestant, and Jew. At the death of one, the other two shall choose the third man of the religion of the man who succumbs.
5/11/74 - A Black Man - Jim Ross is now also on the committee.