Friends of Basketball
Year Inducted: 1995
Category: Friends of Basketball
Schools / Organizations:
Lincoln (IL) Community High School
Biography: Some people called the quartet from Lincoln, the “Lincoln Crazies,” but those who know them prefer “Lincoln Ladies.” They are easily distinguishable by their red, green, and white hats. They happened upon them while vacationing in Frankenmuth, Michigan at Bronners’ Christmas Store. The women say those hats have given them many hours of enjoyment and drawn compliments from fans at home and away. The quartet is comprised of Helen Mahler, Elda Mahler, Mildred Sparnakel, and Henrietta Gillard.
After retiring from Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago with 38 years of employment, Helen Mahler returned to Lincoln to live and developed an interest in Lincoln High School basketball. A stroke forced Helen into a nursing home in 1994, but you just know she was still rooting for “her boys”. Helen died on April 14, 2001 at the age of 99.