Aurora Sports Hall of Fame Announces 2016 Slate June 14, 2016

(AURORA) June 14, 2016 – Two athletes and two coaches are on the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame 2016 slate of inductees. Induction into the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame is the Town of Aurora’s highest sporting honour. It celebrates excellence in sports and pays tribute to those who have contributed to the rich sport heritage within Aurora.

“The 2016 slate of inductees for the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame once again demonstrates the depth of talent and importance that sport has played in the community. The commitment and dedication of these athletes and coaches to their sport, and their generosity to give back in their community, exemplifies Aurora’s rich history of sport. We are proud to include them on our 2016 inductee slate,” said Ron Weese, President, Aurora Sports Hall of Fame.

“We are elated with this year’s slate of Inductees to the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame. Not only are they highly distinguished in their athletic careers; more importantly they are outstanding people and longstanding citizens of Aurora. They have brought fame to our community as athletes, citizens and have helped others in their areas through volunteerism and giving of themselves. They are role models and the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame are fortunate and proud that they are Aurorans. It will be an honour to recognize and celebrate their achievements,” said Michael Roy, Chair of the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame Induction Committee.

“Heroes of sport are inspirational and help us to connect with generations alike. By announcing our 2016 slate of inductees, the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame is excited to share their achievements and stories with the community. The inductees will be officially inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame on November 2 at the 4th Annual Induction Celebration at St. Andrew’s College in Aurora and we hope the community will join us there,” said Nancy Black, Executive Director, Aurora Sports Hall of Fame.

This year, the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame is proud to induct the following four individuals onto its 2016 inductee slate in the following categories:

Karen Stemmle (Athlete)
Karen Stemmle was born on January 27, 1964 and raised in Aurora. She competed in figure skating at a provincial level until the age of 17 then switched to ski racing full-time and won the Junior Canadian Ski Championships at Lake Louise, Alberta. Stemmle went on to represent Canada internationally for five years and had numerous top five finishes on the World Cup Downhill circuit. A career highlight was competing at the 1984 Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo. Stemmle retired in 1988 but her work continued. She is a motivational speaker, volunteer, and fundraiser to help skiers improve their skills across North American and at her home ski club, Georgian Peaks. Recently, Stemmle shared the Rob Thompson Memorial Award for her long-time dedication to the Danny Gallivan Cystic Fibrosis Golf Tournament. Stemmle has proudly represented Aurora and Canada throughout her athletic career and is thrilled to be joining her brother, Brian Stemmle (inducted 2013), as an honoured member of the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame.

“I was completely thrilled and honoured when I received the news about being inducted into the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame with not only my amazing brother, but so many other talented athletes from Aurora,” said Karen Stemmle.

Michael “Mike” Murphy (Athlete/Coach/builder)
Michael “Mike” Murphy was born in Toronto on September 12, 1950 and lived in the Town of Aurora from 1991 to 2009. Murphy was the Team Captain of the L.A. Kings for six consecutive seasons and three seasons as an assistant coach. In 1987, he became Head Coach of the L.A. Kings for four seasons. He has been only the second person to rise to this position after being both player and captain of the team. In addition to the L.A. Kings, Murphy played or coached for the Omaha Knights, St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators. Throughout his National Hockey League (NHL) career he scored 556 points in 831 games. As a resident of Aurora, he founded the Murphy Hockey School where young athletes can pursue excellence in the sport of ice hockey. Murphy is now serving as Senior Vice President of Operations with the NHL.

“I am truly honoured and humbled. It is a great honour, and a great privilege to be recognized, and I want to thank the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame,” said Michael Murphy.

Sheldon W. Galbraith (Coach)
Sheldon W. Galbraith was born in Teulon, Manitoba on May 24, 1922 before he moved to the Town of Aurora and became a long-time resident. While he passed away in April 2015, he left behind a legacy in the sport of figure skating for his contributions as a coach and pioneer of sport, both in Canada and on the international stage. Throughout his career, he coached athletes, such as Barbara Ann Scott, as well as many national and international skaters and medalists. He is a member of Canada’s Hall of Fame, Skate Canada Sports Hall of Fame, World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame and received the Order of Ontario, The Order of Canada and The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal. Galbraith also supported athletes beyond coaching with a bursary fund for young skaters.

“The family was surprised and delighted at the news that the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame is recognizing our father with his induction into the Hall. It is an honour, and he was a resident who loved his community,” said Jeannie Branston (Eldest daughter of the late Mr. Sheldon Galbraith)

Mike “Kitch” Kitchen (Coach)
Mike “Kitch” Kitchen was born in Newmarket and began his love for hockey as a young player with the Aurora Tigers. Later, Kitchen played Junior A with the Toronto Marlboros and won the Memorial cup in 1975. In 1985, Kitchen and his family became residents of the Town of Aurora and his passion for hockey continued. He played in the NHL for eight years, then took a position as assistant coach to the Newmarket Saints before moving back to the NHL to coach various teams such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup twice while he was assistant coach (2013 and 2015 respectively).

“I’m really honoured to be part of the 2016 Aurora Sports Hall of Fame inductees, along with Mike Murphy, Karen Stemmle and Sheldon Galbraith,” said Mike Kitchen.

About the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame
The Aurora Sports Hall of Fame was established in November 2013 by Sport Aurora and with the financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Aurora Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) is a celebration of sport history and excellence; dedicated to the recognition of the important place that sport has assumed within the fabric of Aurora. Every person who values the contribution of sport to our Community and Country is a part of that commemoration.


For more information, contact:
Mark Hunter LaVigne, or 416-884-2018