Wally Weekend Memories: Stories, Honors, Smiles, Giving Back
What a great weekend. Celebrated 9 decades of Fenn/CSU swimming and diving heritage with 165 friends, many brand new! So many stories and memories. Wally deserved the honors he received for the smiles he created, his awesome career, and always giving back.
As we begin to relive last weekends great times there’s no way we can begin to highlight all the highlights. Those will begin to roll out as we share stories and pictures on the new Heritage Website and Facebook.
Enclosed are a few of my favorite times from the combined CSU 50th Anniversary Celebration and our CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Weekend honoring Wally and all he’s done for the program.
Wally’s induction into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame Thursday night started the weekend off. Wally was a happy and deserving inductee. A highlight for me was meeting Peter van Dijk and hearing the story of his first meeting with Bob Busbey, how they later became partners in designing the fastest and most advanced pool for its time, and seeing the architects drawing from the construction files of the pool. Stay tuned for a few pictures from the construction book.
The weather for Friday’s golf outing was amazing; everyone appreciated the time to connect with each other and meet Paul Graham our new coach. Kudos to Rob Salisbury for all his work setting up the event. And the reception at Mark Krusinski’s home provided time to meet so many of the swimmers, divers and coaches who had many Wally stories to share (and a number of stories from Becky’s and training trips we won’t share :). Wow, the grilled shrimp courtesy of Brian Bailey’s Carolina Barbecue team were out of sight!
My goal for Saturday’s Splash Bash was to break 50 in the 50 at the 50th. Mission accomplished, however serious work needed if I’m going to catch up to Wally at next year’s event.
The Splash Bash is in its 5th year. Thank you O*H*I*O Masters for the “packed house”. Your support of our team, the community and Busbey Natatorium has been tremendous.
The reception and roast were the main event of the weekend. Wally deserved every compliment and honor and hug for his unselfish dedication to Bob Busbey, to our natatorium, to CSU, and to a program that positioned swimmers for success across Cleveland and around the world. He’s the one who built the dynamite program then fought to keep it alive. Without him we wouldn’t have been there celebrating 9 decades of athletic and academic excellence that will radiate from the Busbey Natatorium for decades to come !
Thanks AGAIN to Brian Bailey and his team. Because of his generous donation of dinner Saturday night the CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage program was able to raise thousands of dollars toward Wally’s goal. Here’s a picture of Wally and Brian with the “other” Wally.
Herb Fletcher, CSU Hall of Fame Diver, certainly had the most memories to share. He was on the 1946-49 teams with Bob, and was still actively diving into his eighth decade. Here’s a picture of Herb with Wally, Rick Karban and Mark Krusinski, other great CSU divers.
The celebration continued on at Becky’s over on 18th street. Thanks and a tip-of-the-hat to their team for fun Saturday. And ESPECIALLY for their very generous donation to the CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Program.
On Monday we met with our graphics designer to plan next steps for design and fabrication, received a swimming lesson from the master, and a finished with a lunch-time replay with Wally of the wonderful weekend.
Then is was off to CLE for wheels-up at 4:40. Weekend was over, however memories of the stories, honors, smiles and giving back by Wally and his swimmers and coaches will be there for a long, long time.
Regards from the Left Coast,
In the Splash Zone:
We set two goals Saturday night to help wally meet his goal to leave The Busbey Natatorium in better shape than when he took over from Bob: 1) Fund the Heritage Project graphics in 120 days, and 2) obtain a contribution from every swimming and diving alumni. Swimmers especially know meets aren’t won by just the fastest swimmers, they are won by the entire team. So EVERY donation is significant The on-line donation page is available 7/24 whether you’re on a desktop, laptop or mobile device.
You can donate on line, make a contribution by check or volunteer your time and talents HERE.