After a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saugerties Sports Hall of Fame will return April 9 by inducting Mark Herb, Pat Caffrey, Jay Dodig and the late Steve “Einer” Martin and Jimmy Spiers (posthumously). The recipient of the 2022 President’s Award is Greg Helsmoortel. The Saugerties Sports Hall of Fame is in its 59th year of existence. It will hold its induction ceremony and banquet at Diamond Mills on Saturday, April 9, beginning with a cocktail and greeting hour from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The dinner and induction ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and are available by contacting Mike Hasenbalg at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 388-2348.
The President’s Award, which the club is proudly bestowing on former Saugerties Town Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel, is not awarded annually. Rather, it is given when it is evident to the club that an individual or organization has gone above and beyond, displaying extraordinary and invaluable service to the Saugerties community.
A graduate of Saugerties High School, Helsmoortel earned his Associates Degree in Business Administration in 1976.
He was the founder and Owner of Helsmoortel Insurance Agency for over 45 years. (It is presently owned and operated by his son Scott and Carol Mooers.)
Helsmoortel was elected Town Supervisor in 1999 and served for 16 years. The club calls him “one of the most proactive, energetic and dedicated Supervisors the Town has had,” and lists initiatives and accomplishments such as obtaining grant funding for water and wastewater infrastructure on Kings Highway; Spearheading the Town and Village of Saugerties’ successful Police Consolidation; seeing through the completion of Glasco & Malden Hudson River mini-parks, and Saugerties’ Skate Board Park. The club points to Helsmoortel at having solidified local ambulance service by creating a special district, assisting Horse Shows in the Sun and Lazy Swan Golf & Country Club Village in the planning process.
One of Helsmoortel’s bigger accomplishments, according to the Hall of Fame, was revitalizing adult baseball in Saugerties in 1980, when he founded and wholly sponsored The Saugerties Dutchmen.
Also listed are Helsmoortel’s tenures as a Past President of the Saugerties Rotary Club, Past Co-Chair of the Mum Festival, Member of the Saugerties Blue Kats and a Board member of the Saugerties Stallions.
In 2003, Greg was elected to the Saugerties Sports Hall of Fame for his accomplishment on the field and courts.
Foundations of Fame
According to its website, The Saugerties Sports Hall of Fame was initiated by the South Side Men’s Club in 1963 by James “Jimsy” Freligh, Earl Martin Sr., Harold Legg, Jack Legg, Frank “Fink” Whitaker and Christy Hubert, for the purpose of creating a softball team and other sports teams, such as dart ball. The Club became much more as it reached out to recognized Saugerties Sports athletes of the past and a recognition of the many deserving athletes of the town, thus creating the Saugerties Sports Hall of Fame.
The first banquet was held at the Saugerties V.F.W. on February 29,1964. In 1965, recognition was extended beyond athletes to also pay tribute to the efforts of those who helped promote sports and pave the way for our town’s current sports eminence.
The reins were passed to the Saugerties Athletic Association in 1974 and persisted through 1987. The SAA sponsored the Hall of Fame banquet for the next 13 years, (1987) until the Saugerties Sports Hall of Fame Club was officially formed by Jim Gage and Jack Keeley. The Club consisted of all elected members of the Saugerties Sports Hall Of Fame. Voting is now cast by members attending an annual meeting, or by sending in an absentee ballot, whereas in the past a select committee would nominate the honorees.
As of 2020, there were over 300 individuals, including eight women, who have been inducted into the Saugerties Sports Hall of Fame.
The Saugerties Sports Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony and banquet at Diamond Mills on Saturday, April 9, beginning with a cocktail and greeting hour from 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. The dinner and induction ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and are available by contacting Mike Hasenbalg at email@example.com or by calling 914-388-2348.