SCHERERVILLE | Local officials do more than work ballgames with a deaf ear towards screaming, swearing, clueless fans.
They help those in need, believe it or not.
Saturday night, the Lake County Athletic Officials Association held its Hall of Fame induction dinner at Teibel's Restaurant and announced six scholarship winners from Lake and Porter counties.
The LCAOA also plays an active role in raising funds for such national charities as the Jimmy V. Foundation, Coaches versus Cancer and Dig Pink by donating their game checks.
"I try to emphasize that we need to give back," said outgoing LCAOA president Barry Poole, who is finishing up a nine-year term.
The 370-member LCAOA, since 1992, has raised more than $35,000 for the Paul Danko Scholarship Fund – benefiting students who attend Purdue University Calumet – and its LCAOA Memorial Scholarship for college-bound children and family members of officials.
Both scholarship funds are self sufficient, Poole said.
Receiving $500 scholarships Saturday were Chesterton's Bridget Brendza, Sara Filipek (Carroll University) and Sierra LaFreniere; Griffith's Jordan Long (Purdue), Lowell's Sarah Wieser and Crown Point's David Kepshire (Indiana University).
HOF inductees were Ted Walsh and Shirley Dunn with a combined 54 years in the LCAOA.
Dunn officiated volleyball, softball and was a pioneer for female officials. Walsh worked four state finals for football, two in baseball and softball's inaugural state championship in 1985.
Poole said the organization can always use good officials, particularly in football and basketball, but the main drawback besides having to deal with small-minded fans is entitlement among young candidates.
"It's more like 'I worked three freshman games, now give me varsity.' They don't want to pay their dues," Poole said.
"I officiated more than 30 years and it took me 27 years before I worked a state football finals."