The CMR Fieldhouse is one of the most iconic high school gymnasiums in the state of Montana. Spanning 21 boys and girls sports, with 86 championship rugs, and more than 750 individuals shrined into the Hall of Fame, these remarkable achievements have been celebrated since the school first opened its doors in 1965. However, a closer inspection of the will show its age.
CMR Hall of Fame Committee member, Lynda Morin said, "CMR probably has the nicest fieldhouse in the state. We have the nicest Hall of Fame, but it's aging. CMR is more than 50 years old. Some of the pictures are getting worn, and the colors are wearing out, and some weren't even in color, so it's nice to restore it to bring the luster it deserves, and the pride it deserves so that everyone can appreciate it and enjoy it."
Here is a summary of the Hall of Fame Restoration Plan:
- Provide new uniform team sport signage
- Install new wall mounting systems for photos in all sports
- Restore & Scan all photos in Hall of Fame for future projects
- Create a uniform photo template for all existing and future photos
- Reorganize team sport areas, including placement of trophies and championship rugs
- Create individual Halls of Fame for Soccer, Track & Cross Country
- Create a CMR Hall of Fame Website
- Establish digital screens for viewing “Away Games”, digital advertising, sponsorship opportunities and special announcement and events
In Phase 2, the Committee plans to create a digital presence in the Field House through the following activities:
- Create a Digital Hall of Fame using scanned photos, film and other materials
- Create & Establish Criteria for a New “Bridge” Hall of Fame;
- Special post high school accomplishments
- Establish a Digital Hall of Fame kiosk in the Field House
- and Web-based access
Jack Johnson knows CMR athletics as much as anyone, serving as the head football coach from 1973-2013. He discussed what makes the Hall of Fame so unique.
Johnson stated, "You see people that come in the fieldhouse, and they look at this wall, I think it draws a lot of interest, and it means a lot to the kids, but I think it's just showing off our school, and it does have a place here."
Current CMR head football coach, Dennis Morris discussed how the school's athletic program impacted the Hall of Fame and the Green and Gold atmosphere that adds emphasis to Rustler Pride.
"This gym and Hall of Fame is like no other in the state," Morris said. "It's like no other really in the nation. The nostalgia of what's happening here draws every team that's coming to play, whether it's football, basketball, volleyball, to see the history of CMR. Especially to our kids and our program right now, several times we turn and look at this Hall of Fame and say, 'this is the best of the best that has ever been here,' but behind the best of the best was everyone else that made that happen for them. The state championship rugs that hang up there, the all-state players have to have a supporting cast, so not only does our Hall of Fame recognize those guys that were the best of the best, but it recognizes everybody that helped them achieve the best of the best as well.
Not only will this project ensure that photos of those enshrined in the Hall of Fame will “live on forever,” but we are creating a new, revitalized and modern Hall of Fame for future Rustlers.
"Rustler pride is for everyone," Morin said. "Everybody that is at this school now, everyone that has been at the school, and everyone that is going to be at the school. Rustler pride is very real, and that's what it's about. Athletics are fun, but the life-lessons kids learn from athletics last a lifetime. The Hall of Fame is a reminder of the kids that worked hard."
You can make checks payable to the GFPS Foundation with "CMR Hall of Fame" listed on the memo line and mail to: PO Box 2429 Great Falls, MT 59403. Or you can make online donations by clicking here; select "Restricted Other" and type in "CMR Hall of Fame" in the comment section.
You can contribute at one of the following levels: Hall of Fame Level - $5,000 or more; Championship Level - $1,000 - $4999; Gold Level - $500 - $999; Green Level - $250 - $499
Contact Nate Achenbach at 406-268-6107 or anyone on the committee for more information.
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