News & Events
October 18, 2010
For Immediate Release
David Casey, Volleyball Hall of Fame President (E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, Phone: 536-0926)
Volleyball Hall of Fame Awards Mintonette Medallion of Merit
HOLYOKE, Mass. (Oct. 18, 2010) - The Volleyball Hall of Fame announced today it will present the Mintonette Medallion of Merit to Richard B. (Rick) Lajoie. Founded in 1996, the award recognizes significant individual achievement. Mintonette was the original name of volleyball. The award shall be presented at the Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony on Oct. 22 in Holyoke.
The ceremony will take place at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The night will feature a reception at 6 p.m., with the dinner and Volleyball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony beginning at 6:45 p.m. Six individuals will be inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame Class of 2010 including the Brazilian beach team of Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar, Hungarian coach Gabriella Kotsis, Peruvian player Gabriela Perez del Solar, former USSR player Alexandr Savin and the late Polish coach Hubert Wagner.
As a self-professed sports nut, Lajoie played soccer in college and was an avid tennis player. He began coaching youth sports in soccer and baseball after graduation from Saint Michael's College in 1975. In January 1985 he joined the Hall of Fame committee. In 1985, he traveled with Bob Gilbert to make the first official contact with the National Governing Body of USA Volleyball on behalf of the Volleyball Hall of Fame.
In 1987, he served as the induction chair and developed the "Induction Celebration" program that included the first Hall of Fame classic, a players' clinic, the afternoon Induction Ceremony and the Induction Dinner. Lajoie continued for several years to further develop the Hall of Fame Classic, arranging for teams and serving as the event coordinator.
As the induction Celebration grew, Lajoie developed and designed the Court of Honor Award, the Morgan Award and Mintonette Medallion of Merit awards for the Hall of Fame. He also wrote and directed the Hall of Fame inductee videos, and continues to research the inductee background and write the scripts for the videos that are shown during the induction dinner.
As the 1995 Volleyball Centennial grew nearer, Lajoie helped write the successful bid for the Hall to host the NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship and the USA Volleyball Open National Championships at Westover Air Force Base. He also worked with the NCAA to bring the Division I Women's Championships to UMASS.
Along the way, Lajoie held several administrative positions on the Hall of Fame including serving as president from 1990 to 1993. He also developed and wrote the Hall's first newsletter, NETWORK.
Outside of volleyball, Lajoie is a tax auditor for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and has worked there since 1982. He has also worked as a sports writer for the Springfield Republican where he was awarded the Bill Keating Award for coverage of the Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament by the Holyoke Boys Club. Lajoie also writes for other area publications.
Lajoie continues to be involved in sports other than volleyball. He is a track official with the USA Track and Field Association, with assignments having included working the 2008 Olympic Trials. He currently serves as president of the Western Mass Track Officials Association.
Lajoie and his wife Karen live in Holyoke. Lajoie has three grown children - Lindsey, Jeffery and Jeremy.