Letter from Lou Holtz

Greetings and welcome to the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame website! We hope that you not only will enjoy reading about our endeavors to create a hall of fame of preservation and inspiration here in the Ohio Valley, but that you also will be inspired to one day visit us in person.

Initially, I was presented with a concept for a Lou Holtz Museum, which I immediately rejected. While appreciative of the gesture, I did not and do not want a shrine dedicated to me. However, as more discussion was held and the idea evolved into a hall of fame that would be inclusive of individuals in all fields of endeavor from throughout the Upper Ohio Valley, I agreed.

You see having grown up in the Upper Ohio Valley until leaving for college, I was very much aware of the talented, hard-working and caring people who helped in the shaping of young lives. Frequent visits back to the valley have reinforced this image. Many of these individuals work quietly within their own communities; others have risen to the top of their respective professions but continue to take pride in and make significant contributions to their home towns. The hall of fame, I feel, can provide two vital services. First, it can be a place to recognize the people who strive to make their communities better places to live. More importantly, however, I see it as a source of inspiration for young people who dream of a brighter future, but who may lack the know-how or wherewithal to see it through.

I believe that by learning about the work ethic and perseverance of hall of fame inductees, these young people will find role models - people of their own communities, not so very far removed from themselves, who worked to make their dreams come true. They will have the opportunity to see first hand that with dreams incredible things can happen.

Young people are our most valuable resource, and one day the world will be left to their care. Therefore, I believe it is important to give them as strong of a foundation on which to build as possible.

With this in mind, we will be developing the hall of fame so that not only will it be a historical and cultural showcase of the valley's communities and people but it also will be a learning center. We will be working with computer companies to develop touch technology that will deliver educational and inspirational programs to all ages to further encourage them to pursue their dreams so that one day they, too, may find themselves in this very hall of fame.

Honorees inducted into the hall of fame possess five characteristics in common which I believe have played key roles in their success. They each:
  • possess a wonderful attitude;
  • have made sacrifices to overcome the problems they have encountered;
  • possess a passion to win - they got rid of all of the excuses of why they couldn't succeed;
  • have a sense of purpose; and
  • had dreams. Unbelievable things happen when you dream.

These characteristics combined with the willingness to always do the very best you possibly can, to do what you feel in your heart to be right and to genuinely care about other people will lead to success I firmly believe.

To further encourage these young people in their pursuit of a better future, the hall of fame also is providing trade school scholarships to help launch these individuals on a vocation. I do not think any young person in this valley should be denied an education because he or she lacks the financial resources. We will be holding an annual celebrity golf tournament to raise funds for the scholarships.

Admittedly, our organization is still in its infancy, but we believe it has the potential not only to add a unique touch to the Upper Ohio Valley, but also to bring about positive change in peoples' lives. We are committed to making this happen and we hope you will join us in our venture.

We extend an invitation to become a member of our organization and to pay us a visit from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

I believe that with the right attitude, a willingness to make sacrifice, hard work and faith, nearly every goal can be reached. Dreamers make things happen - keep dreaming!