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Jan. 27, 2011
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., - Former Penn State All-American and 15-year NFL veteran Bobby Engram will be the featured speaker in late March at the 14th Annual football awards banquet sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
The banquet honors the athletic and academic achievements of high school football players in Central Pennsylvania and also gives various awards to high school coaches, game officials and players from 10 area colleges. This year, the Central Pennsylvania Chapter will initiate a special lifetime achievement award, with long-time broadcaster Fran Fisher as the first recipient.
"We are very pleased to have Bobby Engram speaking at the banquet, where we are also recognizing Fran Fisher for all that he has done for Central Pennsylvania athletics and especially Penn State," said Rob Oshinski, president of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter. "Their accomplishments should serve as great examples for the high school student-athletes we will be honoring at the banquet."
This year's event is set for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 27 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, with doors opening a 12:45 p.m. Some 60 scholastic student-athletes will be recognized at the banquet, with at least 10 student-athletes receiving a $1,000 scholarship towards their college education.
Since initiating the awards banquet in 1997-98, the Central Pennsylvania Chapter has given out $129,000 in scholarship money while honoring 427 deserving student-athletes from certain high schools located in the following area counties: Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia Elk, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Northumberland and Union counties.
A second round draft choice of the Chicago Bears, Engram spent 15 years playing in the NFL with the Bears, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns before his retirement. Engram is now pursuing a career in coaching while also spending more time with the foundation he created several years ago after his daughter, Bobbi, developed sickle cell anemia. The Bobby Engram Foundation strives to make more people aware of the disease and to help and support families that also are suffering with the disease.
Fisher was associated with Penn State sports for 40 years, primarily as "The Voice" of Penn State football and basketball. He was the play-by-play announcer for Penn State's football radio network from 1970-82 and again from 1994-99, and was the analyst form 1966-1969. In addition, Fisher was host of the weekly "Joe Paterno Call-in Show" on radio, the co-host of the now defunct statewide weekly "TV Quarterbacks" program, and a broadcaster and producer of various Penn State sports events aired over public broadcasting station WPSX (now WPSU-TV).
From 1984 until his official retirement in 1988, Fisher was also executive director of the athletic department's fund-raising organization, the Nittany Lion Club. Prior to working full time for Penn State in 1970, Fisher spent 10 years as the sportscaster and manager of radio station WKPA in Lewistown.
Tickets for the Central PA Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Awards Banquet are $25.00 each and $250.00 for a table of 10. Anyone interested in purchasing tickets should contact Bill Nichol at (814) 238-2127.
For Additional Information, please contact Rob Oshinksi (814 -235-7676) or Frank Rocco (814-861-3625).