By Allison Collins
SIDNEY – Roughly 150 Sidney graduates, dating as far back as the Class of 1944, filled the Elks Lodge last Sunday to see five Warrior alumni inducted to the Wall of Fame. The four-hour luncheon concluded this year’s Alumni Weekend.
Joining the more than 60 previous inductees were longtime Sidney coach William Davidson; William Mirabito, Class of ’78; Robert Daugherty, Class of ’73; the late Blake Hayes, Class of ’68; and Lt. Col. Dane Woytek, U.S. Army (Retired), Class of ’68.
Emcee for the event and past inductee Chuck D’Imperio, Class of ’67, opened the ceremony by impressing on attendees the significance of Wall of Fame induction.
“Sidney schools are the proving ground … for great American stories,” he said, noting that all inductees should be considered “heroes.”
Presenters and inductees alike echoed D’Imperio’s appreciation for his hometown, with many crediting Sidney with fostering the lives and careers for which they were honored.
“I’m truly a blessed man,” Robert Daugherty said in accepting his recognition for exemplary leadership in business, human relations and higher education. “And this is one more special blessing, but perhaps the greatest blessing is to have spent my entire childhood in this magical place called Sidney. It shaped me to be the man I was supposed to become … and I never want to forget where I came from.”
Inductee Woytek, honored for excellence in service to country and education, added: “I’m humbled to join the ranks of so many great and successful Sidney alumni. Sidney is a great place to grow up.”
Mirabito’s recognition was for excellence in business and community service, with D’Imperio commenting: “For many generations, the name Mirabito has stood for excellence, quality service, commitment and family and you’ve done that name proud.”
Davidson, who coached in the district from 1964 to ’98, was honored for excellence in teaching, mentoring and volunteering.
And the late Hayes, whose honor was accepted by his adult children, was inducted for excellence in historic preservation and public service.
All inductees and presenters shared Sidney-specific anecdotes, laughter, reminiscences and hearty standing ovations from the crowd.
Each year’s honorees, D’Imperio noted, are nominated through a submissions process and voted upon by members of Sidney Alumni Association’s Wall of Fame Committee.
Find nomination forms and more information at sidneyalumni.org.