The Archery Hall of Fame’s spacious new permanent home was previewed during a mid-September open house at the Bass Pro Shops flagship store in Springfield, MO. AHOF officers, previous inductees, friends, and invited guests had gathered for the 27th Induction Ceremony, which welcomed five new Hall of Fame including “The Father of the Compound Bow,” the patriarch and founder of an iconic family-run archery company founded in 1951, and three championship tournament archers who dominated the sport during 20th century competition.
“The Archery Hall of Fame Museum will be open to the public daily starting Thanksgiving weekend,” said Diane Miller, AHOF Executive Director. “Having a permanent home was longtime dream of the Hall’s late founder, Dave Staples, who started negotiations with Bass Pro founder John L. “Johnny” Morris more than a decade ago. Dave would be proud to see his dream become a reality, as are all of us on the Board of Directors who have worked long and hard to create a facility containing archery and bowhunting artifacts and memorabilia from the 72 men and women currently enshrined there.”
The 2012 induction ceremony on September 15 spotlighted the AHOF’s five newest members. They include:
• Holless Wilbur Allen, a Missouri bowhunter who sought to develop a mechanical bow capable of shooting a faster hunting arrow. Years of tinkering resulted in the Allen Compound bow, patented in 1966. His invention forever changed the face of archery and launched a bow manufacturing revolution that continues into the 21st century. Though Allen died in 1979, his legacy will last forever. His son, Doug, accepted the AHOF plaque on behalf of the Allen family.
• Frank Gandy, a Florida-based competitor, dominated tournament archery over five decades, from his first national title in 1967 to a Senior Division national title in 2005. Since 1964, Gandy placed first in 150 state, sectional, national, and one international tournament. These included both field archery and indoor archery professional competitions, during which Gandy used four different shooting styles: barebow-recurve, limited freestyle-recurve, limited freestyle-compound, and freestyle-release.
• Gail Martin, the 89-year-old founder of world renowned Martin Archery Company, shot his first bow as a teenager and became actively involved in archery and bowhunting in the 1940s, starting his family business in Washington State in 1951. Known for producing custom arrows and accessories, bowstrings, quality recurves and compound bows, Martin Archery continues to be an industry leader with Martin, wife Eva, and their sons operating the 60-year-old business.
• Ann Butz, considered one of the greatest women archers of all time, burst on the national archery scene in 1966 after she and her husband had taken up the sport as a hobby in the mid-1950s. Over the next decade, Butz shattered all existing records while setting new standards of excellence. The leading money-winner for a 10-year period, she’s the only professional competitor to win archery’s “Triple Crown,” taking all three national titles in a single year.
• Vicki Cook won her first Minnesota State Target Championship in 1959, only three months after taking up the sport of archery. Overcoming illnesses and surgery, she went on to qualify for the World Team in 1961 under the coaching tutelage of Allen Muller. Though finishing seventh in ’61, she used the experience and renewed determination to bounce back and claim the world title in 1963 by defeating World Champion Nancy Vonderheide by 38 points. Cook took the National Archery Association title in 1964 and placed in the top ten 15 times.
Founded in 1971, the Archery Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding individuals whose lifetime contributions to archery at the national level have earned them the respect of their peers and a nationwide following. All inductees have been formally nominated and voted on by a panel of electors including historians, members of the archery industry, media, and related groups and organizations. AHOF categories include bowhunter, coach, competitor, contributor to the sport, educator, influence on the sport, innovator/inventor, and lifetime achievement. To date, 72 qualified men and women have been elected to the Archery Hall of Fame.
Complete information is available online at www.archeryhalloffame.com.
For additional details, contact:
Diane Miller, AHOF Executive Director (814) 392-8901 or (814) 438-3511