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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sault, Ontario, to honor LSSU Alumnus

The city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario will pay tribute to LSSU alumnus and former National Hockey League star, Ron Francis who retired in October after a distinguished 23-year professional hockey career. Francis received an honorary doctorate degree from Lake Superior State University in 1998.

At its regular meeting Monday evening, the Sault city council passed a resolution declaring Thursday, February 23 as Ron Francis Day in Sault Ste. Marie.

A committee consisting of councilor Steve Butland and local citizens Jerry Bumbacco, Gino Cavallo, Joe Maione will work on organizing events for the Francis tribute.

The highlight day will be a public reception and dinner at the Marconi Club. Tickets are $50 per person and are now available from any committee member or at the Soo Pee Wee Arena.

Francis has agreed to donate net proceeds from the dinner to the Pee Wee Hockey League to help offset registration and equipment costs for aspiring young players.

Ron Francis, is a 23-year NHL veteran with the Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Francis, 42, a 4-time NHL All-Star (1983, 1985, 1990, 1996) appeared in a total of 1,731 NHL games (which ranks him 3rd on the all-time list). His stellar career also included 549 goals (19th), 1,249 assists (2nd, behind Wayne Gretzky), and 1,798 total points (4th).

Francis was known for playing the game with class, as his three Lady Byng Memorial Trophies (1995, 1998, 2002) will attest, and his Frank J. Selke Trophy (1995) solidified his reputation as an excellent all-around player. His Hall-Of-Fame career is highlighted by consecutive Stanley Cup victories in 1990-91 and 1991-92 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In 1991, Ron was awarded the Sault Ste. Marie Medal of Merit.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact any of the committee members: Gino Cavallo, 949-5638, Joe Maione, 949-5800, Jerry Bumbacco, 759-6604, or councillor Steve Butland, 949-1909.

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