No Joan Didion. No Mozzy. No Norm Lopez.
The first four people honored with monuments in the Sacramento Walk of Stars will be Dr. Ernie Bodai, Debbie Meyer, Gregory Kondos and LeVar Burton. The announcement came this morning from Scot and Lucy Crocker of local public relations firm Crocker & Crocker, who pushed the project forward. The Crockers aim to honor a few people every year with local ties.
“We want to celebrate our best and brightest,” Lucy said. “[Honorees] went on to national and international significance. … They are an inspiration to others.”
The Crockers and others involved, including present of the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau Steve Hammond and Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen, expressed high hopes for the impact of Sacramento Walk of Stars. Hansen suggested it’ll generate income for the city.
“It will help continue raise Sacramento’s profile and reputation,” he said.
The first 3-by-3-foot, terrazzo and bronze stars will sit on an L Street sidewalk. In the future, the Walk of Stars will spread across J, K and L Streets between 21st Street and the Golden 1 Center.
So, who are these stars? The most widely known is Burton, an actor, director and producer celebrated for his roles in the 1977 ABC series Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as hosting the PBS children’s series Reading Rainbow.
Bodai directs the Breast Health Center at Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento, but he’s nationally famous for convincing Congress and the U.S. Postal Office to issue the Breast Cancer Research Stamp, which sells more than face value and raises money for breast cancer research.
Meyer is a three-time Olympic champion and former world-record holder in four events. She remains the only woman to have ever won three individual freestyle gold medals in a single Olympics.
Finally, Kondos—yes, of the Gregory Kondos Gallery at Sacramento City College—is a prominent artist in the world of California landscapes.
Bodai, Meyer and Kondos (from left-to-right in photo, starting with the first man in sunglasses) were all at the announcement this morning and praised both the project and the city.
“I think it brings a sense of community and awareness to everybody about what a wonderful city Sacramento is,” Bodai said.
The Walk of Stars will be officially unveiled later this summer, and all four honorees will be in attendance. According to the Sacramento Bee, that aspect was part of the criteria in choosing who would get monuments. Perhaps that explains the lack of Didion and other names you may expect and hope for in the future.