The Military Numismatics National Champion Award has been renamed in honor of author and researcher Neil Shafer.
MPC Fest announces new name of annual National Champion award
For over twenty years collectors of military currency and related objects have eagerly awaited
the announcement of the winner of the annual National Championship competition held at MPC
Fest. Each night of Fest attendees are matched against each other in a brackets-style competition
testing their knowledge of military numismatics, including contents of
The Book (World War
Two Remembered: History in Your Hands, also known as Schwan-Boling) as well as material
discovered through subsequent research. Each winner receives the title National Champion, and
a silver Fest challenge coin of the year engraved
Champion. Notable three-time winners
include Neil Shafer, Jim Downey, Bill Myers, and Fred Schwan. By tradition these four have
retired from the competition, to give aspiring contenders a chance at winning! This hard-earned
award has never had a formal name, but this year, that will change.
MPC Fest, to honor one of our senior knowledge-bearers and sharers, and to celebrate the return
to an in-person event after three years away, is deeply pleased to announce the naming of the
Neil Shafer Military Numismatics National Champion Award.
A beloved and
respected member of the Fest community and the wider numismatic world, Mr. Shafer's
influence on the hobby cannot be overstated. His life is full of fascinating stories and his
biography would fill many pages, but here are a few highlights. He has been an active collector
and numismatist since the 1940s. He is a recipient of the ANA's Farran Zerbe Memorial Award
for Distinguished Service in 2014, and the NLG Clemy Award in 2004, among other awards too
numerous to list. He is a life member of many numismatic organizations including ANA, IBNS
(and an early inductee to the IBNS Hall of Fame), SPMC, Philippine Numismatic and
Antiquarian Society, many local and state clubs, and—for 20 plus years— a member of MPC
Fest. A true educator and evangelist for numismatists, Mr. Shafer has written for every major
publication, many smaller and local publications, has taught at ANA Summer Seminar, and has
made presentations at an uncountable assortment of organizations, including over fifteen staff
briefings at MPC Fest.
He served in the USAF, as a violist in the USAF Symphony Orchestra,
from 1955 to 1959. Mr. Shafer is also famous throughout the MPC and wider numismatic
communities for his
little black bag, which accompanies him at all times. From this bag he
extracts just exactly the one collectible that you had not realized you needed, had not budgeted
for, but which you absolutely HAD to acquire before he could offer it to someone else!
As always, this year's Fest, Fest 24, will be held at Camp Leo May, Port Clinton, Ohio (Port
Clinton-Catawba Island Holiday Inn Express), from March 16th to March 19th. The keynote
speaker will be Thomas J. Sparks, speaking on
The Short Snorter of Major General Clayton
Lawrence Bissell, U.S. Army Air Service. Register by calling 419-732-7322. And watch this
and other numismatic publications for announcement of this year's winner, the first to be
awarded the Neil Shafer Military Numismatics National Champion Award!
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
2018 SPMC Hall of Fame Inductees
To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
SHAFER WINS NLG'S "CLEMMY"
NEIL SHAFER'S 'MONEY OF THE PEOPLE' COLLECTION
SHORT SNORTER EXHIBIT COMING TO PHOENIX
Wayne Homren, Editor
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