Hotel Saranac and Mountaineers Rugby Club to commemorate 48 years of Can-Am Rugby

This article was provided and not produced by CanAmRugby
Date: July 24, 2023

Contacts:
Sandy Caligiore, askc@roadrunner.com, 518-637-3597
Josh King, jking@hotelsaranac.com, 518-891-6900

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With the annual Can-Am Rugby Tournament approaching July 28-30 in Saranac Lake, the host Mountaineers Rugby Club is set to partner with the Hotel Saranac for a commemorative display in the hotel’s ballroom.

Similar to the recent exhibit for the Hanmer boat races, the presentation will be in the historic ballroom of the Hotel Saranac and will include artifacts and images from the Club and the Tournament’s first 48 years. The exhibit will be available for public view from July 26-31 from noon to 9 PM daily.

This presentation is viewed as a precursor to next year’s 50th anniversary of Can-Am Rugby in the community. The tournament started with eight teams in 1974 and has now grown to over 100 clubs competing on numerous area pitches over the course of three days.

In addition to promoting the sport in the Adirondack region, the Mountaineers and the Can-Am Rugby Tournament provide substantial funding annually in support of local youth and charitable organizations, including scholarships for area athletes.

“We’re very proud to be at the forefront of supporting the Mountaineers, the Tournament, and the game itself,” said Fred Roedel, Chief Financial Officer of Roedel Companies, owner of the Hotel Saranac. “This event is very important to the village and I hope that people will take a moment to come see this exhibit and learn something new about the Mountaineers, the Tournament, and the game of rugby.”

On Friday evening July 28, in the ballroom of the Hotel Saranac, the Mountaineers will induct the 2023 recipient, Don Grabowski, into their Black Jacket Hall of Fame.

“Grabo” had a long and distinguished career with the Mountaineers through the 1980s and 1990s. He still plays with the Mountaineer Old Boys when coerced back from his home in Florida, and has traveled to international old boy’s tournaments with several Florida clubs.

Grabowski served as President of the club for several years, also captained the team, and penned a weekly article for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise on the basics of rugby.

“Don was an outstanding athlete,” said Terry McGuoirk, fellow Mountaineer and hall of fame member. “Grabo was one of those guys that loved to hit and had a special talent for driving opposing players crazy. His sarcastic sense of humor made them even angrier.”

“Like many rugby players, once off the field he is a nice, funny, and humble guy. He is also very smart and one of the most organized board members we have ever had.”

Black Jacket Hall of Fame Members

  • Jan Plumadore
  • Kerry Kelly
  • Bill Doolittle
  • Nic Logie
  • Gerry Gillmett
  • John F. Morgan
  • Tom Sciacca
  • John Muldowney
  • Sean Morgan
  • Bob Brehl
  • Ian Orme
  • Jay Annis
  • Peter Frenette
  • Stacey Annis
  • Tammy Morgan
  • Kyle Munn
  • Dean Naegele
  • Nichole Mayette
  • Bob Williams
  • Leo Demong
  • Mike Bevilacqua
  • Doug Ferris
  • Greg Marshall
  • Bill Decker
  • Fred Roedel
  • Terry McGuoirk
  • Jeff Beamish

Induction into the Black Jacket Hall of Fame, which started in the mid-1990s, is predicated on at least 10 years of service to the club; longevity of participation as a Mountaineer that earns respect on the basis of being a positive influence on and off the field; demonstrate a clearly unselfish dedication to the sport and specifically, the Mountaineer program by enhancing its development; has served as both a player and volunteer.

About the Black Jacket Hall of Fame

The mission of the Black Jacket Hall of Fame is to celebrate and honor the individuals who have had a distinctive, positive influence on the Mountaineer Rugby Football program. Members are selected on their level of performance, sportsmanship and dedication to the Mountaineers. They have inspired and helped develop the game into the character-building sport that it is today.