Close to 400 people were on hand at Thunder Bay’s Valhalla Inn for the 36th Annual Induction Dinner and Ceremonies of the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame to officially welcome in the Class of 2017 which included Dryden hockey star Chris Pronger. Joining Chris as a member of the Class of 2017 were race-car driver John Jones, national wrestler Lou Kok, fellow hockey player Bob ‘Battleship’ Kelly, hockey coach Ab Cava and swimming official Irene MacLeay.
Chris and his wife Lauren travelled to Thunder Bay from their home in St. Louis to be on hand for the event, and were joined by his parents Jim and Eila Pronger and grandparents Anna and Erkki Nyholm along with other family and friends including former Dryden Mayor Bill Salonen who was also Chris’s high school principal, and is a fellow Hall of Fame Inductee.
Included amongst the messages read to Chris during his induction was a letter from Richard Hodgkinson, Principal of Dryden High School who expressed on behalf of current and past students, staff, parents and families how pleased and proud they were of his success given that his early hockey journey included time as a Dryden High School Eagle. The hockey superstar acknowledged his pride as an Eagles alumnus during his acceptance speech, along with his thanks to his family and hometown for the support he received all throughout his incredible hockey career.