Two Olympic athletes, a business legend and a best-selling novelist were honored Thursday in midtown as Sacramento stars.
The four – Ruthie Bolton, Billy Mills, Russ Solomon and Nicholas Sparks – had their accomplishments immortalized with plaques in Sacramento’s Walk of Stars. The stars are set into the sidewalk on the south side of L Street between 18th and 19th streets.
The first round of inductees in 2016 included Olympic swimmer Debbie Meyer and Timothy B. Schmit of The Eagles. The Walk of Stars is the brainchild of Scot and Lucy Crocker of the Crocker & Crocker public relations firm. The plaques will eventually decorate various spots along J, K and L streets between Fifth and 21st streets. Last year’s stars are on the north side of L in the same block as this year’s.
The four 2017 honorees span a wide range of cultural roles:
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▪ Solomon is the founder of Tower Records, which grew from a teenage business selling jukebox records out of his father’s drugstore. Tower Records became a worldwide business empire that reached more than 200 stores and $1 billion in sales annually at its peak.
▪ Bolton is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who played for the Sacramento Monarchs WNBA team from 1997 through 2004. She coaches girls basketball and travels promoting female and youth empowerment in sports.
▪ Mills was the surprise gold medalist in the 10,000 meters at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics. He set Olympic and U.S. records before becoming the national spokesman for Running Strong for American Indian Youth. He lives in Sacramento.
▪ Sparks is a novelist and screenwriter whose books have become international bestsellers. Eleven of his books have been adapted in to films, all of which earned millions at the box office. He grew up in Fair Oaks.
Mills and Sparks wrote a book together called “Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding,” published in 1991.
During the unveiling ceremony, each inductee received a personal plaque and they all simultaneously removed the covering from their sidewalk plaques.
“Many times in our city we mark historic buildings, but we have failed to mark our historic people and remind our communities where we’ve come from, where we can go and what we can do,” Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen said during the unveiling ceremony. “I think Walk of Stars is something that will remind generations of children to come that they can be and do whatever they want.”