More than 100 of the best athletes to emerge from York County are in need of a home.
Well, the athletes themselves aren't homeless, but the facility that honors their storied accomplishments may soon be without a permanent dwelling.
The York Area Sports Hall of Fame has been located at 224 N. George St. in York since 2007.
The Hall of Fame took up residence there thanks to the benevolence of Jeff Lau of Insurance Services United. Lau not only provided the site for the Hall of Fame, free of charge, but he also paid for the plaques of the Hall of Famers that adorn the walls at the facility.
A little while back, Lau sold out to his partners at Insurance Services United, and those partners are now moving the business to another location.
Lau, who still owns the building, is now looking for a new tenant, and there's no guarantee that the new tenant will still be interested in housing the local Hall of Fame.
The York Area Sports Night officials, who operate the local Hall of Fame, don't want to wait to find out the new tenant's intentions. They are proactively trying to find a new home.
“This puts us in an uncertain situation,” said Bob Astor, who is on the Sports Night board. “We're looking for a York-area business that will host this worthwhile endeavor.”
In a perfect situation, the Sports Night folks would like to remain in York City, or a surrounding community. They'd also like a high-traffic location, similar to the current site, which is located between Continental Square and PeoplesBank Park and near numerous downtown restraurants, Central Market and other attractions.
“We're looking for a life-long York resident who is inclined toward sports and athletics and who is willing to take in the Hall of Fame,” said Roy Robbins, who is longtime official with Sports Night.
The business that houses the Hall of Fame would be expected to do so free of charge, or for a very nominal fee. Astor said Sports Night is not in a financial position to assume a large rental fee, although the organization could take on the cost of buying future plaques. Each plaque contains the name of the Hall of Famer, a short biography and the year of induction.
Right now, there are 121 members of the local Hall of Fame, which started in 1973. It's a roll call of the greatest athletic names in York County history.
Lau has graciously provided a home for the Hall of Fame for nearly a decade. Now it's time for some other civic-minded business person to step up.
All that is needed is one large room with enough wall space to exhibit the plaques, along with some memorabilia that has been donated by the Hall of Famers over the years.
It should not be a significant burden for a business to take on. In fact, it should actually help the business by creating some positive public goodwill, as well as generating a little additional foot traffic.
“It's a great piece of York history,” Astor said.
And it deserves a permanent and prominent home.
Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.