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Salem Museum Announces New Champions Celebration Gallery

The Salem Museum Has announced new plans to celebrate Salem, Virginia as the City of Champions and Virginia’s Championship City. The gallery will include team and individual champions in many fields: athletics, academics, the arts, and civic and professional life.

The permanent installation will feature both traditional exhibits and a hands-on, interactive kiosk that will preserve the stories of Salem’s champions for years to come. Opening Day is planned for September 21, 2019.

“Salem prioritizes education, supports quality of life amenities like parks and recreation, and maintains sports complexes where the nation’s top athletes come to play,” said Fran Ferguson, the museum’s executive director. “As a result, a remarkable number of youth and adults have been recognized as Champions in a variety of fields. Their stories exemplify hard work, teamwork, and community spirit—these are inspiring stories for current and future generations.”

The gallery will permanently showcase Salem’s champions, those who have been recognized with a first place win at the state level or above. The Champions Celebration Gallery will include both traditional exhibits and a touch-screen kiosk that will enable visitors to search a rich database of stories about Salem’s many champions.

The gallery will include the student state champions from Carver School, Andrew Lewis High School, Salem High School, Glenvar High School, and Roanoke College. The winners of national championships held in Salem will be recognized, as well as Salem’s high achieving professional athletes.

To fully recognize Salem’s champions, the museum seeks help to identify them and find their stories and relevant pictures and artifacts. The museum is two-thirds of the way to its fundraising goal for the new gallery, but is still seeking funding to complete the design. Donations can be mailed to the Salem Museum at 801 E. Main St., Salem, VA 24153, or made securely online at

Donations may be made in honor or in memory of a coach, mentor, teammates, or others. When total donations in honor or in memory of any person or team reach $1,000, the Salem Museum will add a paver for that person or team to its front entrance walkway.

The museum is guided by an advisory group which includes Scott Allison, Director of Athletics, Roanoke College; Tommy Barber,  Educational Consultant; Kevin Clifford, Head Football Coach, Glenvar High School;  Sandy Hadaway, Athletic Director, retired, Salem High School; Carey Harveycutter, Director of Tourism, City of Salem; Brian Hoffman, Sports Journalist and Photographer, Salem Times Register; Chris King, Athletic Director, Salem High School; Cindy Miller, President, Salem Museum Board of Directors; Mark O’Connell, Author, The Team the Titans Remember; Bob Rotanz, Mac ‘n Bobs; John Shaner, Director, Salem Parks & Recreation; William Shepherd, Sr., Carver School All-State Football; and G. and Cherry Sprinkle.

Major sponsors to date include The Powell Charitable Foundation, Lead Contributor; The Rotary Club of Salem; Salem Kiwanis; Sherwood Memorial Park, Peggy Shifflett, and G. and Cherry Sprinkle.

Contact Fran Ferguson ([email protected]) or Alex Burke ([email protected]) at the Salem Museum if you have questions or information, or call 540-389-6760. More information is also available on the museum’s website,

About the Salem Museum & Historical Society

The Salem Museum & Historical Society is an independent, nonprofit organization preserving and celebrating the history of Salem, Virginia, which was founded in 1802. The Salem Museum is located between Longwood Park and Salem’s Pickleball courts in the historic 1845 Williams-Brown House at 801 East Main Street, Salem, VA 24153. Open Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. Museum admission is free, but donations are appreciated. The Museum has free parking. 540-389-6760.

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