Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Hall of Fame Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2017
GRAND HOTEL, RYBA’S FUDGE AND HOTEL IROQUOIS INDUCTED INTO THE MACKINAC ISLAND STONE SKIPPING HALL OF FAME
MACKINAC ISLAND, MI – In a Hall of Fame first, three Mackinac Island businesses were inducted into the Stone Skipping Hall of Fame Saturday at the annual Mackinac Island Stone Skipping and Gerplunking Club’s Winter Rules Committee meeting at the Heathers Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. “We are excited to welcome these three legendary ambassadors of the sport to the Hall of Fame”, said Hall of Fame Director Karl Rabe.
Nominees for induction are cast in October and then inducted if they receive a minimum of two Plinks (affirmative votes from the Screening Committee) and six Pitty-Pats (affirmative votes from the Honors Committee).
The historic Grand Hotel, owned and operated by three generations of the Musser family, has supported Stone Skipping for almost half a century. In the early 1970s, the hotel began the tradition of hosting the Annual Awards Banquet the evening before the 4th of July contest. Revered hotelier R.D. Musser, Jr. also underwrote the Winter Rules Committee Meeting held at The Detroit Press Club on the day after Thanksgiving for many years. In those early years, effective press exposure was key to the growing popularity of the sport.
Ryba’s Fudge contributed to the lure and legend by making “Fudge” and “Stone Skipping” synonymous. In the early 1970s Harry Ryba suggested that the Little David Trophy should be accompanied by a year’s supply of fudge. The delectable award has lured many now famed professionals to the sport with the rallying cry “Will Skip for Fudge”, made famous by former world record holder Russ Byars. Ryba generously donated the edible award and offered delivery in two ways, lump-sum of 52 pounds or monthly distributions of four pounds each. His business savy techniques later trickled-down to financial institutions and retirement plan investments where lump-sum distributions have become common practice.
Hotel Iroquois, has been a stalwart supporter of The Mackinac Island 4th of July Stone Skipping Contest since it was moved to Windermere Beach in 1971. Proprietor Sam McIntire provided banners and pennants that drew tremendous crowds. He also facilitated W. T. Rabe’s Beach-Front Patio Press Room complete with telephone land-line that was instrumental in spreading the news of the growing sport via WJR, WWJ and other radio stations across the country. Most importantly, Hotel Iroquois’ waiters and waitresses have been efficiently quenching the thirst of Stone Skipping volunteers for 45 years.
Inductees to the Stone Skipping Hall of Fame are recognized by a skipping stone bearing their name and year of induction on the hall of fame trophy, the Tellefson Rock. Since the founding of the Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Hall of Fame, the Tellefson Rock has been symbolic of the pinnacle of stone skipping. Currently The Tellefson Rock, or casually The Rock, stands at 33 inches and weighs 5.3 stone (75 pounds). The base of the trophy is hand crafted from lumber harvested from a 35-foot white pine felled with a double-bit axe wielded by the great Commander E. M. Tellefson himself. The trophy is crowned with a rock excavated from the famed Point aux Pins on Mackinac Island Michigan.
Overshadowing other championship trophies, the legend and glory of the Tellefson Rock continues to be a beacon of inspiration, living in the hopes dreams of competitors.
Formed in 1969, the Mackinac Island Stones Skipping and Gerplunking Club has hosted the annual stone skipping contest on Mackinac Island for forty-eight years. The Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing competitors, officials, and others who have made a significant contribution to the sport of Stone Skipping. Visit the Hall of Fame online at misshof.com.