The Lake Placid Hall of Fame Selection Committee has named its 2013 inductees to the Lake Placid Hall of Fame. Carefully chosen by Hall of Fame Selection Committee members, all nominees must have made significant sports, cultural or civic contributions to the region, or their endeavors must have enhanced the historical heritage of the area. To be considered for induction into the Lake Placid Hall of Fame, individuals should be past or current residents of the Olympic region or have some significant connection to the area.
The inductees for the 2013 class include: Wilmot G. “Monty” Purdy, James V. “Jim” Quinn, Laura Viscome, Edwin “Ed” and Lisa Weibrecht, and Naj Wikoff. The 2013 nominees will be inducted into the Lake Placid Hall of Fame, which is located in The Conference Center at Lake Placid at 2608 Main Street, adjacent to the Olympic Center.
Monty Purdy, founder of the legendary Monty’s Elm Tree Inn (aka Purdy’s) in Keene, is remembered for his outstanding lifetime of civic contributions both in the Town of Keene and the Olympic Region. Monty served as volunteer chief timer for decades at the Mount Van Hoevenberg bobsled track. He was instrumental in the formation of the Hurricane Bobsled Club of Keene and Elizabethtown. Monty was undoubtedly one of the biggest promoters of bobsledding in the North Country and served as manager of the US National Bobsled Team in the late 60’s. He helped start the Keene “Hill Climb”, a sports car race that drew huge crowds to the town for decades. An incredibly generous man, Monty gave back to his community in uncountable charitable ways, including providing winter clothing for less fortunate children, providing plantings throughout the community and was first on scene to help in any disaster with food and shelter and always being there for someone in need. He was an ambassador to the Adirondacks and Keene through his many connections with visitors passing through his restaurant for decades. Monty Purdy was considered the unofficial “Mayor of Keene”.
Jim Quinn was a tireless promoter of Lake Placid. He never said no to the countless requests of his time for one cause after another, always donating either financially and/or with his time. Quinn was co-owner and operator of Mountain Paper Co. in Ray Brook until his hiring by the NYS Olympic Regional Development Authority in the mid 90’s. He always had a pocket full of Lake Placid pins to pass out to visitors to the region and on his travels, constantly promoting Lake Placid wherever he happened to be. In the 1980’s Jim was a Director of the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce, serving as the promotions committee chair, whose task it was to promote events within the community. Jim was one of the cornerstones of what is now our major 4th of July fireworks extravaganza. In 1988 he traveled to and volunteered time at his own expense to help man the Lake Placid Hospitality Center at the Calgary Winter Olympics. In 1990 he served on the XIII Olympic Winter Games 10th Anniversary Celebration Committee in charge of hospitality events and escorts for all out of town dignitaries. Jim also served as volunteer hospitality director for the Olympic Regional Development Authority throughout the 90’s, providing hospitality and leisure activities for athletes and officials for national and world sports events. His World events team meeting hospitality program won recognition in several skiing magazines since Lake Placid was the only host city in the world at the time to offer such things at the notoriously dull meetings. In 1991 and 1995 he participated on his own time and at his own expense in the two 3 1/2 week New York Run for ’92 and ’96 Torch Runs across the State to raise funds for the USOC for the 1992 and 1994 Olympic Winter Games. He devoted his life to his love of the Lake Placid Region and the Olympic movement.
Laura Viscome, a resident of Lake Placid for over 60 years, exemplified her love of the community throughout those decades. An active supporter of athletics in the area, she not only taught many local youth how to ski, she also won many awards for her own participation in skiing, golf, skating, bowling and curling. The culture of the area was chronicled in her weekly column in the Lake Placid News, “Odds and Ends”. In addition to her weekly column, she wrote numerous historical articles about Lake Placid, published in books and magazines such as Adirondack Life. Before her passing in August 2010, she authored the book, “Lake Placid (Then and Now)”, requesting all proceeds from the sale of the book be donated to the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society. Some of her many roles over the years include ski instructor at Mt. Whitney Ski Center for 10 years; Director of the Lake Placid Youth Commission Alpine Ski Program, a free program for local youth; leader of the local chapter of Girl Scouts of America; secretary to the United State Bobsled Federation; member of the Governor’s Council on Tourism (part of the original I Love NY campaign); volunteer for Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society; member of Garden Club of Lake Placid, Craig Wood Golf Team, Skating Club of Lake Placid, Lake Placid Curling Club, Lake Placid Bowling League and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 326; she also served as a Eucharistic Minister for St. Agnes Parish in Lake Placid. Viscome won numerous awards and accolades for her accomplishments and contributions to the Olympic Region.
Ed and Lisa Weibrecht, owners of Lake Placid’s Mirror Lake Inn have been benefactors of many organizations in the region, most notably the Lake Placid Center for the Arts with their Mirror Lake Inn playing host to the annual “Joy to the Children” fundraiser for the past 2 1/2 decades. This annual December fundraiser (for which the Weibrechts also donate all food and beverage and staffing) is the major source of funding for LPCA’s children’s programming in which dozens of local businesses have helped raise over $1.8 million over the years. Ed and Lisa are individually involved in numerous civic endeavors and have served on several community boards of directors. Ed is currently a member of the Olympic Regional Development Authority Board of Directors, Vice Chair of the Lake Placid Horse Show Board, Lake Placid Winter Sports Commission Board and former member of the New York Ski Education Foundation Board of Directors and former President of the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce. Lisa is a former US National Luge Champion, licensed 1/2 mile 4-person bobsled driver, and Adirondack 46’er, member of the Lake Placid Garden Club and Board member of the Lake Placid Education Foundation. She has been a volunteer for uncountable sports events and benefits. Additionally, Ed was Chairman of Gov. Hugh Carey’s Olympic After-Use Committee, which ultimately led to the formation of ORDA. He was also instrumental in the initiation of the first ever Empire State Winter Games in Lake Placid and is currently still an instructor at the Whiteface Mountain Ski School, a position he has held since 1973.
Naj Wikoff is a Lake Placid native. His contributions to the region’s arts programs cover many communities and many decades. Beginning way back in the 1970’s, Naj assisted in the effort to restore Lake Placid’s Mill Pond Dam and co-founded the Lake Placid School of Art, which eventually evolved into the current Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Together with Caroline Hopkins, Wikoff helped launch the arts program for the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid (the first ever for an Olympiad and is now a part of each and every Olympic Games, both summer and winter). He helped save and preserve the Lake Placid Sinfonietta’s music library. He founded the Lake Placid Institute for the Humanities, and started its “Word from the Woods” children’s poetry contest. Additionally he co-founded the Adirondack Film Society and helped launch the Lake Placid Film Forum, serving as its first director. He was also the founder of Creative Healing Connections 15 years ago, an organization devoted to supporting the healing of women living with cancer and other chronic diseases. The group expanded to include women veterans living with PTSD and other traumas. As part of that he led a men’s retreat and helped organize a retreat for military spouses, the first of its kind anywhere in the country. He also served as a member of the community advisory board for Homeward Bound Adirondacks, and remains an active participant. He is the arts coordinator for Connecting Youth and Community Lake Placid/Wilmington. He organized the 150th commemoration of John Brown. Most recently he was instrumental in organizing fund raising for relief in Keene, New York following Hurricane Irene and its devastating damage to his community. He is currently helping coordinate the raising of funds to keep the 10 independently owned movie theaters in our region from going dark. A two-time Fulbright Scholar, Wikoff has also served in numerous capacities outside the Olympic Region on national and international levels.
The 30th Annual Induction Banquet will be held Saturday, October 19 in the Conference Center at Lake Placid, and is scheduled to begin with a cash bar at 6 p.m in the Hall of Fame, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $32 and are now available at the Olympic Center box office. The deadline for dinner ticket purchase is Tuesday, October 15, after which tickets will not be available.
The Lake Placid Hall of Fame began in 1983 and has inducted over 100 individuals, as well as the members of the 1948 U.S. Olympic four-man bobsled team and the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. Permanent plaques commemorating each member are on display in the Lake Placid Hall of Fame, located in The Conference Center at Lake Placid.