Hall of Fame Award – Peg Griffin

Presented by David Yon

The Hall of Fame is special – there is no doubt. Whether it is baseball, football, basketball, college or pro, it lifts us all above the “rut” of life when we have the chance to recognize those who have had a special impact on our sport and on each of us. The best I can tell, Andy Burns was the first inductee in 1980. The club has been in existence since 1975-1976 and has had many thousands of members since then. Of that total only 30 have found their way into the GWTC Hall of Fame. The numbers are similar when you look at other organizations. It is most organization’s most sacred award and it recognizes not just a great year or a spectacular achievement, but a life long contribution. 

Tonight’s inductee has to my knowledge never hit a home run out of the ball park and then strutted around the bases to the adoration of the crowd. Well, for that matter this inductee to my knowledge has never won a race. But make no mistake this is a great choice. If you turn to the next to last page of your program – you will find the criteria for consideration for membership in the Hall. “Individuals who have brought respect to the GWTC through their contributions, activities, and running accomplishments, and who have played a major role in shaping the ideals of the club…” While this year’s inductee has done almost all of that, what I would like to focus on is the language “who have played a major role in shaping the ideals of the club.” 

My observations tell me this person lives by the following principles – (1) If the job is worth doing, do it well and don’t whine about it; (2) treat the people you serve with respect and dignity; and (3) don’t be afraid to take on the difficult challenges. 

There are jobs out there that are critical to making GWTC the great organization that it is and that create the club’s great reputation in the community. We can immediately identify some of them of find this person at the core of their successful execution. 

Is there a higher calling than complete and accurate race results? We all know (and love) Bill Lott. He is the face of the finish line crew and no one is more dedicated. But you know, what Bill does wouldn’t mean much without our 2008 HOF inductee. Bill clicks a machine and it makes a mark. But what if we all had to look at the tape to figure out where and when we finished. I would have a lot faster finish times, because I would be grabbing the fastest time I could find. Few people really understand all that it takes or how it happens that once they cross that line, it rarely takes 24 hours before this data is translated to accurate and readable results accessible on the GWTC web page. Not once, not twice a year, but week after week. It takes both data input and then data output. This person doesn’t even get time off when the club pays outside results companies to help out – just like us, they can not do without her!

So what club can exist without recognizing and knowing its members? Certainly, not GWTC. The club finished 2008 with 1,116 members in 648 households. That is the largest numbers that I can remember since I have served on the board. This person would deny she had much to do with it, but quietly, consistently she pushed memberships, renewals and new ways to make both happen during her tenure has Membership chair. Not every idea worked right away – they were not always “a home run knocked out of the park,” but when the game ended – the score sure looked nice and the RBI total was pretty amazing. 

Of course, there is nothing more important to many GWTC members than Grand Prix. And yes, there is a committee – a wonderful committee that made tonight such a success – that you see and know about. Mary Jean, Jeanne O’kon, Jackie McDaniel, Hobson Fulmer and of course the chair – Lisa Unger. But again, their efforts would not be so easy or successful without this “behind the scenes person” who makes sure results are accurate and then accurately converted to Grand Prix scoring. Not once, twice, but 12, 13 or 14 times a year. 

Finally (well I could talk about many more things), she has kept alive and rebuilt one of the club’s major communication tools – its web site. It is another one of those chores that requires attention almost every day. And she is always there. If you don’t believe it – just go look at the web page today and you will see the results from this morning’s 30K are already posted. That says all you really need to know about this person. 

All of these things certainly make the 2008 GWTC Hall of Fame inductee very deserving. But there is something else above and beyond all of that makes her one of my most special friends. She just simply doesn’t stop giving, she treats others with respect (some of us more than we deserve), and she asks little to nothing in return. Remember those words I asked you to focus on in the beginning: “those who have played a major role in shaping the ideals of the club.” 

We should be so lucky if our club has been shaped by the ideals of Peg Griffin, the 2008 GWTC Hall of Fame member.