Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, will be the featured speaker at the 33rd annual induction banquet of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 17 at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club.
"We are excited to have Sharon as the guest speaker for our induction dinner," said Randy Anderson, CSHOF president. "The impact of Jackie Robinson on the game of baseball and race relations in America cannot be overstated. To have Sharon reflect on her experiences growing up as Jackie's daughter will be a special opportunity for our county. Her appearance will add a special touch to the induction of Vincent Calarco, Geza Farkas, Dan Lunetta, Cindy Miller, Al Muck, Tom Prechtl, Tom Priester and Jack Wigley."
Sharon Robinson captivated readers with her memoir ''Stealing Home,'' her recounting of growing up in the public eye, and ''Jackie's Nine,'' a book for young readers about the nine heartfelt, hard-won values that helped her father, Jackie Robinson, achieve his goals. Her photographic biography for children, ''Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America'' received rave reviews. Her fiction novels include ''Safe At Home'' and ''Slam Dunk!'' Her first picture book, ''Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson'' honors her father's memory with her warm, graceful storytelling
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In addition to her writing career, Ms. Robinson is an educational consultant for Major League Baseball. In this capacity, she oversees school and community-based educational programs. ''Breaking Barriers, In Sports, In Life'' is the department's core program; it is a national character education program designed to empower students with strategies to help them face obstacles in their lives. The message is delivered by examining the values demonstrated in the lives of Jackie Robinson and many of today's baseball stars. Since its inception in 1997, the program has reached more than 14 million children across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
Prior to joining Major League Baseball, Ms. Robinson had a 20-year career as a nurse-midwife and educator. She taught at such prestigious universities as Yale, Columbia, Howard and Georgetown. In addition to her work in midwifery, she directed the PUSH for Excellence program from 1985 to 1990 and was a fund-raiser for The United Negro College Fund and A Better Chance.
Ms. Robinson is vice chairman of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and serves on the boards for the Roberto Clemente Sports City Complex in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Metropolitan Opera, Urban America, and Omnicom Diversity Committee.
Ms. Robinson received her bachelor's degree from Howard University in 1973 and her master's degree from Columbia University in 1976. She went on to receive a post-master's certificate in teaching from the school of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Robinson has honorary degrees from Medaille College (1998), Dowling College (2004), and Monmouth College (2005).
The CSHOF induction banquet on February 17 at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club will begin with a hospitality session at 5 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m.
The official ticket distribution sites are Fredonia Food Mart on Temple Street in Fredonia, Calarco's Restaurant on Market Street in Westfield, plus Jamestown Cycle Shop on Harrison Street and the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame on Third Street, both in Jamestown. Tickets can also be ordered by phoning Chip Johnson at 485-6991. The price per ticket is $50. CSHOF members receive a $5 discount.