Five is the magic number at Manchester.

Five Manchester High School graduates, covering five decades, will be honored at the fifth annual Manchester Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on June 11 at Prestwick Country Club.  

The 2016 Manchester Distinguished Alumni are Wally Minko, Class of 1980 (Alumni Achievement Award); Scott Williams, Class of 2000 (Early Career Achievement Award); Rick Kaderly, Jr., Class of 1996 (Leadership Excellence Award); Mike Phillips, Class of ‘1974 (Posthumous Panther Alumni Award); and Mrs. Marilyn Young, Class of 1953, (Outstanding Faculty Award). Those who nominated these award winners will introduce each at the dinner.

One distinguished alumnus is chosen in each of five categories. Stone said the first year they began the awards was in 2012 when the alumni association knew there were many Manchester graduates that have gone on to great success in the fields of music, science, medicine, sports and philanthropy, to name a few. They received five nominees for each of the five categories for 2016, and the award winners are chosen by community leaders, alumni members and high school faculty.

"This is a prestigious program we began five years ago to celebrate some of the most noteworthy graduates and faculty members in school history, and the new class of inductees is exceptional once again," said Eric Stone, vice president of the Manchester Alumni Association. 

In addition to the awards they receive at the dinner, each winner will also be enshrined with an individual plaque summarizing their accomplishments on the Distinguished Alumni wall at Manchester High school.

Minko, now residing in Los Angeles, is a Grammy-nominated musician, composer and arranger, having performed and toured with artists like Barry Manilow, Pink, Toni Braxton, Tom Jones and jazz superstar Arturo Sandoval.

Williams, now residing in Manhattan, is an acclaimed biological anthropologist and one of the world’s foremost experts in the study of fossil hominid vertebrae. National Geographic lauded his team’s 2013 South African ancestral excavation, with one of the greatest fossil discoveries of the past half-century.

Kaderly Jr., a resident of New Franklin, is a community leader in every sense, Stone said. His family’s foundation has raised and awarded more than $50,000 in scholarships and support to countless Manchester youth programs. Kaderly started the foundation in honor of his father, Richard Kaderly Sr.

Phillips led the Manchester Panthers to a State "AA" basketball championship with a 26-0 record, then continued his heralded athletic career at the University of Kentucky and for 14 seasons playing professionally in Europe. 

Young has filled many roles the past five decades, from teaching to media specialist. Her efforts beyond the classroom include advising the Academic Challenge team, chairing scholarship committees, filling key leadership roles with the Old School Alumni and MHS Alumni Association. Young, at age 85, is remains a library technician at Manchester High School.       

The public is invited and tickets can be reserved by calling Judy Williams at 330-285-7039 or by email at jud5060@yahoo.com. Tickets are $25  per person. The event begins at 6:30 pm with a social hour and cash bar, followed at 7 p.m. by a buffet dinner and awards ceremony. Sam Reynolds, former superintendent of the Manchester Local Schools, will be keynote speaker.