The Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society has added yet another highlight to this weekend’s reunion.
Rene Rancourt, who for the last 35 years has sung both the American and Canadian national anthems at Boston Bruins home games, will perform those same duties Sunday prior to the Reds Heritage Society’s awards program at Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick.
“We’re both honored and thrilled to have Rene coming here this weekend,” said Buster Clegg, president of the prestigious Reds Heritage Society. “We try to make the Reunion as special as possible for everyone. There’s no doubt his presence will enhance the program.”
The 11th annual Reunion Weekend will begin Friday evening with a private “Meet and Greet” reception at the Hampton Inn & Suites Hotel in Warwick. Saturday will be Rhode Island Reds Night at the PawSox and society board member Tom McDonough will sing the national anthem at McCoy Stadium.
The reunion is scheduled to run from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Carousel Building in Goddard Park.
Rancourt’s presence will make the day even better.
Rancourt first began singing the anthem at Fenway Park. He took part in an opera singing audition on the radio and was heard by John Kiley, long-time organist at both Fenway Park and the Boston Garden. His highlights include singing the national anthem prior to Game Six of the 1975 World Series when Kate Smith cancelled her appearance.
Rancourt’s ambition was to become an opera singer. The strength of his trained voice overcame the acoustic shortcomings of the old Boston Garden. In 1976 he began singing regularly at Bruins home games.