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Penn Mutual Signs on as Presenting Sponsor of this Year’s U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Induction Dinner

July 8, 2019

The United States Rugby Foundation is pleased to announce that long-serving rugby supporters, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, is the presenting sponsor of this year’s U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Induction Dinner.

Penn Mutual, sponsors of the Collegiate Rugby Championship, National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO), USA Sevens and Las Vegas Invitational, is once again teaming up with the Rugby Foundation at this year’s Hall of Fame Dinner, which will now be titled, the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Induction Dinner Presented by Penn Mutual.

“We are appreciative of Penn Mutual’s title sponsorship of this year’s Hall of Fame Dinner,” said U.S. Rugby Foundation Chairman, Brad Andrews. “Their support of the CRC, NSCRO, the USA Sevens and last year’s Lost Afternoon Luncheon has had a great impact at a number of levels of rugby in this country. With Penn Mutual’s continuing support, we hope that this year’s Induction Dinner will be our biggest and best one yet.”

Penn Mutual’s executive vice president, Tom Harris, had this to say about the continued partnership.

“Penn Mutual is pleased to support the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and congratulate the class of 2019. Honoring the accomplishments and dedication of these eight individuals is a celebration of their legacy, and highlight the values of the sport of rugby — integrity, respect, loyalty, community. These are the same values that Penn Mutual’s culture has been built on for over 170 years, and values that encourage us to help grow the sport and have a lasting impact on the generations to follow.”

The eight newest members of the United States Rugby Hall of Fame will be inducted on Friday, July 26, 2019 at Infinity Park in Glendale, CO, the day before the U.S. Men’s National Team hosts Canada at Infinity Park. The annual Hall of Fame Dinner is the Foundation’s most important fundraising event. A table for eight can be purchased for $1,500, individual seats can be purchased for $200, while individual student (18 years old and younger) registration can be purchased for $100. Children’s meals are available for kids 10 and under for $75.

A portion of each individual and table purchase will be considered tax-deductible. A cocktail reception will take place from 5:30-7:00 p.m., Dinner from 7:00-8:00 p.m., with the Induction Ceremony to follow.

Always a major fundraiser for the U.S. Rugby Foundation, this year’s U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Induction Dinner will once again see the participation and involvement of USA Rugby in the HOF festivities.“

The Hall of Fame Induction Dinner is getting more popular with each passing year,” said U.S. Rugby Foundation President Brian Vizard. “We already have over 200 guests registered and we are still a month out. It’s great to see all the past Eagles and Hall of Fame members who will be there. It should be a memorable night followed by what promises to be a great match between the Eagles and Canada. The Foundation thanks Ross, Barbara, Chris and all the others at USA Rugby for their support.”

The U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Class of 2019 includes past U.S. Eagle players Vaea Naufahu Anitoni, Bob Causey, Jen Crawford, Luke Gross and Shawn Lipman; long-serving rugby players and administrators, John Decker and the late J. “Tyke” Nollman (represented by his wife, Jane Nollman); and one of the all-time top U.S. referees, Don Reordan.

In addition to those past U.S. Eagles mentioned above, the following U.S. players and coaches have already confirmed their attendance at this year’s induction dinner: Brad Andrews, Steve Finkel, Mike Purcell, George Betzler, Jeff Hollings, Tony Ridnell, Jay Hanson, Juan Grobler, Ed Burlingham, Ron Mayes, Ray Cornbill, Rich Schurfeld, Chip Howard, Brian Hightower, Kevin Swiryn, Tim O’Brien, Greg Schneeweis, Tommy Smith, Butch Horwath, Bill LeClerc, Kathy Flores, Brian Vizard, Robbie Flynn, John Jelaco, John Mickel, Dan Lyle, Bill Fraumann, Candi Orsini, Dave Hodges and Mike Garrity.

Hall of Fame inductees Andrews, Orsini, Flores, Mayes, Cornbill, O’Brien, Finkel, Purcell, Smith, Betzler, Hanson, Burlingham, Vizard, Lyle, Fraumann, and Hodges will be joined in the crowd by fellow Hall of Fame members Bob Watkins, Jim Russell, Don Haider, Jay Waldron, Terry Fleener, Dick Smith, Dr. Lyle Micheli, Patti Prusmack (representing her late husband, A. Jon Prusmack) and Trudy Morrison (representing her late husband, Don Morrison).

Also being recognized during the awards ceremony will be United States Military Academy junior, Samantha Sullivan, and Lindenwood University senior, Cristian Rodriguez, the recipients of the first-ever Prusmacks, awarded to the top male and female collegiate 7s player in the country.Congratulations to the Class of 2019 who are joining the 63 who have already been inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame. Like the preceding eight classes of inductees, the Class of 2019 have made a lasting mark on United States rugby.

The Rugby Foundation would also like to thank Anheuser-Busch for their support of this year’s U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Induction Dinner.

The U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame and its Foundation is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of U.S. Rugby; supporting the development of the game by funding programs for youth, high school and collegiate rugby; and individual player development programs.