MIAMI — A check for $10,000 to help with the completion of the Miami High School weight room was a surprise addition to the Miami Athletics Hall of Fame luncheon Saturday, March 3.

Steve and Barbara Owens, part of the inaugural class of the hall, designed to honor past student-athletes, coaches and contributors, made the presentation shortly after their induction.

“Steve and Barbara’s generous gift towards our new weight room project made this weekend extra special,” Miami athletic director Chad Davis said.

Millie George-Gilion, a trendsetter for girls’ athletics at MHS, also was inducted.

Miami News-Record sports editor Jim Ellis was included as a contributor.

“It’s truly an honor and a privilege to be inducted into the Miami Athletic Hall of Fame,” said George-Gilion, now a resident of Neosho. “I was very, very, very fortunate to play on some great athletic teams with some great players and some great coaches.

“The greatest gift I received at Miami High School was quality education that prepared me for college. For this, I will be forever grateful.”

The Owenses, who are members of the MHS Class of 1965, live in Norman but still consider Miami home.

“Whether it was athletics, business or whatever, we are connected to this community for our lives,” Steve Owens said.

Steve and Barbara Owens were instrumental with the launch of the Miami Public Schools Enrichment Foundation.

“We appreciate that we are part of this,” Steve Owens said. “

There were more than 200 in attendance at the luncheon, held in the Calcagno Family Ballroom in the Carter Student Union on the campus of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.

It was part of the Miami all-school reunion weekend.

“We have received a lot of positive feedback from our event and we couldn’t be more happy that it went off as well as it did,” Davis said. “It was a privilege and an honor to host Millie, Steve and to surprise my buddy Jimmy with their inductions into the hall of fame.

“This is a weekend we will look forward to every year.”