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Nominate those who deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments

BY: Kori Sciandra | November 13, 2012

NORTH TONAWANDA - The Visual and Performing Arts Wall of Fame has been a key component in the history of North Tonawanda High School. The program, which launched in 1997 when John George was the superintendent of North Tonawanda Schools, spotlights those who have made an impact in the music and performing arts industry.

“The foundation [Remembering Ryan Foundation] is the corporate sponsor of the Wall of Fame,” said George, president of the Remembering Ryan Foundation. “There are currently 25 people who have been inducted.”

Inductees can be nominated in three different categories including Legend, Staff and Student.

A legend is someone who was a student or staff member prior to 1962, which is when the new high school was built.

A nominee can be inducted in the student or staff category if they were a student or graduate from 1962 to present, or a staff member from 1962 to present.

“The nomination is based on the candidate making a difference in the visual or performing arts,” said George. “We are the only school in New York State, that I know of, that has recognition of this kind - that is strictly for the Visual and Performing Arts.”

“We chose to sponsor this after the foundation was created, but I have had an interest in this since I was the superintendent,” said George. “We decided to focus our interest on supporting the visual and performing arts, because we wanted to branch out a little further than just the foundation and do some corporate sponsorships.”

The Remembering Ryan Foundation was created in honor of George’s grandson Ryan Bertini, who lost his life at a young age due to health complications. Ryan loved music and playing around with artistic activities.

“We thought this would be a great way to honor his memory,” said George.

Most of the activity that the Remembering Ryan Foundation focuses on are mini-grants, that are given to local schools to assist with finances for items such as, musical instruments, costumes, lighting equipment, etc.

As the corporate sponsor for the Visual and Performing Arts Wall of Fame 2013 Induction the Board of Directors of the Remember Ryan Foundation encourage residents to nominate their friends and family to be inducted into the Wall of Fame at North Tonawanda High School. In addition, those who find themselves in need of financial assistance with regards to music and the performing arts are also encouraged to apply for a mini-grant by visiting the Remembering Ryan Foundation website at www.RememberingRyanFoundation.org.

Nominations for the Wall of Fame are due by Nov. 30. Those individuals who wish to nominate a candidate they feel should be recognized for their accomplishments with the visual and performing arts, can do so by completing a nomination online at the district website, www.ntschools.org.

Applications for mini-grants are also due by Nov. 30.

For more information, contact John George at 868-4002 or email him at jhg@rememberingryanfoundation.org.

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