HOW THE SPORTS MUSEUM WAS CREATED
Morley Brotman was a longtime civic booster and sports enthusiast in Tacoma and back as in the late 50's he was encouraging the construction of a convention center. When the concept of a mini-dome came into being, the Tacoma Athletic Commission held a Morley Brotman Night in 1980 at which time they raised $25,000 to be used for the public relations campaign for the dome bond issue.
After a successful vote, there was still $25,000 in this fund and so the money was put in a special trust fund to be overseen by the TAC and earmarked for a sports museum. In the 80's there was talk of a sports museum in Tacoma but nothing ever materialized. in 1988 Marc Blau and Clay Huntington decided to tackle the project and spent about a year working on it behind the scenes by arranging for an architect, working out an agreement with the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma Dome management, and looking into potential financing.
The first foundation approached was the Cheney Foundation and Elgin Olrogg,who was the Executive Director at the time, immediatly enbraced the idea and once the Cheney Foundation came through with a $35,000 contribution the project was on its way. The next major contribution came in the form of a $50,000 commitment from the Elbert Baker Foundation and through the efforts of Roy Kimbel who spearheaded the fund development campaign, additional monies came in from other foundations, businesses and corporations, and individuals. What finally put this project on solid footing, however, was the generous contribution from Fred Shanaman, in honor of his parents and their love for sports.
The whole intent of the sports museum was to recreate the history of sports in the community by chronicling the evolution of each sport through written and visual display. For that reason there are three components to the museum. One is the display of artifacts in the museum itself. Second, is a video documentary which is intended to provide an overall flavor of our sports heritage, with an ultimate goal of producing videos on each individual sport. The final component is the publication of a commemorative book on sports which affords greater detail on various events and individual and team accomplishments.
It is appropriate and only fitting that the sports museum be a project of the Tacoma Athletic Commission because of the profound effect that this organization has had in molding our sports heritage over the years. Many of us either don't know or don't remember that during the 50's and 60's the TAC had over 3000 members and sponsored numerous major events such as the Grid-Go-Round, Hoop-Go-Round, Golden Gloves Boxing, 4th of July Fireworks Show, State of Washington Hall of Fame Banquet and many more. Sports has always been an integral part of our lives in Tacoma-Pierce County and the TAC did their part to make sure that never changed. The museum simply allows us to preserve the strong sports tradition in our community and build upon it in the years to come.
Contribution honors Fred & Marjorie Jeffries Shanaman, Jr.:
Fred C. Shanaman, Sr. was a respected businessman, civic leader and sports enthusiast.
A longtime member of the Tacoma Athletic Commission, Mr. Shanaman was dedicated to ensuring that the fine tradition of Tacoma-Pierce County athletics be carried out during his lifetime as well as for those who followed. He chaired the inaugural Tacoma-Pierce County Hall of Fame banquet on February 27, 1957.
Dan Walton, sports editor of the Tacoma News Tribune wrote: The greatest constellation of Pierce County sports stars ever under one roof will be on hand for the first annual Tacoma-Pierce County Hall of Fame banquet at the Tacoma Athletic Commission Thursday evening.
The finalists as selected by the screening committee . . . are Herm Brix, Gretchen Kunigk Fraser, Chuck Hunter, Jr., Bob Johnson, Bill McGovern, Joe Salatino, Wallace Scott, Freddie Steele, Paul Strand, Marv Tommervick and Frank Wilson.
From the finalists, Chairman Fred Shanaman and others of the board of judges are to select three whose names will be announced at the gala affair.
Mr. Shanaman's dedication to his community and the sports that he loved lives on as evidence through the Shanaman/Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Museum.
Marjorie Jeffries Shanaman set the tone for women's golf in the Pacific Northwest for many years.
At the age of 18, she sported an amazing two handicap. An avid golfer and all around sports enthusiast, Mrs. Shanaman captured many amateur championships during her lifetime of golf.
One notable event was the Washington State Women's Championship played over five days culminating on August 24, 1928 at Bellingham Golf and Country Club.
An Article appearing in the T.N.T best describes Mrs. Shanaman's remarkable accomplishments on this particular day: The big thrill of the 5-day meet. . . was furnished by Miss Marjorie Jeffries. A winsome lass from Tacoma Country and Golf Club, when she came from behind, after being 4-down teeing off to the ninth hole, and defeated Mrs. Guy Riegel, of the Spokane Country Club, one-up, with a display of unbeatable golf.
Mrs. Shanaman won several local championships and was recognized as one of the top women amateurs in the United States for many years.
A photograph is displayed at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club with the inscription: Marjorie Jeffries Shanaman B one of Tacoma Country and Golf Club's great champions.