Dallas residents Joey and Jamie Thurmond are set to open a “Family Entertainer’s Hall of Fame & Museum” in downtown Dallas Saturday at noon. The museum will be staffed by volunteers, and open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with free admission.
The almost 500-square-foot museum at 103 Spring St. in Dallas will feature uniformly designed artwork and displays featuring portraits, memorabilia and biographies for all of the hall of fame inductees, which will initially include musical comedian Ray Stevens, Tim Conway of the “Carol Burnett Show,” longtime Atlanta magician David Ginn, wildlife television host Okefenokee Joe, and puppeteers Shari and Mallory Lewis and their famed puppet Lamb Chop.
Thurmond said he originated the idea of a hall of fame about two years ago, Thurmond said.
“We looked at people with great careers in clean entertainment,” he said.
Inductees are chosen according to the hall’s charter, “In order to bring recognition to those who have exemplified outstanding accomplishments in the fine arts of moral sound family entertainment.”
The hall’s board of directors, including the Thurmonds, submitted different entertainers they felt were worthy to be inducted, Mrs. Thurmond said.
They came up with a list of 20 different entertainers and narrowed it down to the five inductees, she said.
“Inductees are investigated and selected based on their professional and personal accomplishments and activities by the board of directors,” according to the web site www.thenojoefoundationandthefamilyentertainershalloffame.com.
The board looks for everything in their lives to make sure they are devoted to clean entertainment, Thurmond said. They want to induct two entertainers each year, he said.
Two of the inductees, Joe and Ginn, are scheduled to attend the grand opening, and all of the stars have submitted biographies and memorabilia from their careers.
Joe said he is surprised and honored to be featured in the museum.
“I’m thrilled to death,” he said.
Joe is an Emmy award-winning artist who sings and has been featured on Georgia Public Broadcasting and other stations nationally, according to okefenokeejoe.com.
Ginn is a magician who has been performing for 42 years in the Atlanta area.
He said he is honored to be chosen.
“I do it because of the children,” Ginn said.
He has been educating children with 37 different shows, each discussing a different educational topic, over the years and performs around 300 shows a year, he said.
The museum also will feature a Nojoe Foundation display. The foundation was formed by the Thurmonds and is supported by souvenir sales conducted during their touring show called Nojoe’s Circus, Thurmond said.
Money from the foundation goes to Cure Childhood Cancer, Starlight Children’s Foundation and Concerns of Police Survivors.