Carol Cramer and John Pawlak, two talented communicators who have made their primary mark in harness racing while working for the sport's U.S. governing body, the U. S. Trotting Association, have been named as ballot candidates for the Communicators Hall of Fame in voting conducted Friday by directors of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA).
The decisions came during the annual meetings of USHWA, being held here this year in conjunction with Harness Racing Congress VI.
Carol Cramer is now officially retired from the USTA, but anyone who races a stakes horse today still feels her influence, as she has retained the function as editor of the USTA Stakes Guide, the foundation upon which owners and stake services build the racing schedules of star horses. Cramer also worked as the Advertising Manager for the USTA's acclaimed Hoof Beats monthly magazine, and it is unlikely that Jim Harrison's seminal book on the handling of harness racehorses, Care And Training of the Trotter and Pacer, would have seen the light of day if not for Cramer organizing and preparing the fundamental brilliance of thought that Harrison gathered and added to.
In the mid-eighties John Pawlak travelled from Toledo in nothwest Ohio, where he served in several capacities, for Toledo Raceway Park, to Columbus in the heart of the Buckeye State to serve as the Director of Publicity. Some of Pawlak's duties have changed over the years, but his core strengths have been utilized from day one, perhaps most notably the datagathering for and editing of the Trotting and Pacing Guide, the definitive annual fact book on North American harness racing. He has also overseen many of the broadcasting functions of the USTA, stemming from Pawlak's days as a TV sportscaster in Toledo and now expanded to his innovations for the USTA in the e-communications age; and he is well-known world-wide for his representation of the USTA and the U.S. overall at the biennial World Trotting Conference and its World Driving Championship.
Cramer and Pawlak now go before the membership of USHWA in Communicators Hall of Fame balloting in midsummer; if they secure 75 per cent of the votes from the electors, they will join the pantheon of other great women and men who have set the highest standards in the dissemination of harness racing information.
The Harness Congress goes on with panel discussions on Saturday and Sunday. USHWA holds its general membership meeting Saturday afternoon. The culmination of Congress VI will occur on Sunday evening, where the sport's brightest stars will be honoured for their accomplishments at the annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet.
(With files from USHWA)