Thirty years ago, on Saturday June 4, 1988, over 130 Pelham elementary school students participated in the newly revamped Pelham Summer Olympics at Glover Field. It was the first year the volunteer members of the Pelham Civics (45 members and their wives) co-sponsored the event with the Pelham Recreation Department (Mark Mather and John Von Bargen) Added to the competitive sporting events were free hot dogs, soda, candy, colorful Pelham Civic T-Shirts with “Celebrate Pelham” on the back, individual medals, and Polaroid photos of each athlete.(Remember Polaroids!?!) Joe Nunziata, who was Vice President of the Civics at the time, said “Phil Colicchio, President, and I knew that what the Pelham Recreation Commission and Department had created years before was an incredible foundation for a town-wide event that had enormous potential. Working hand-in-hand with Pelham Rec and the schools, we increased the participation by 100 the first year. It just snowballed from then on with more events being added each year. Nothing could make us prouder than to see on June 2 how this fabulous tradition continued at Glover Field, now with over 200 children.”
This year’s Pelham Civic Olympic Chairman Scott Brown organized yet another successful event, with months of planning all of the logistics, including recruiting volunteers. According to Scott, ,”I had a hard-working committee and a huge number of my fellow Pelham Civic volunteers to call upon. And Mother Nature cooperated with the weather.”
Pelham Civic Bill Taubner (President of Ball Chain Manufacturing) once again donated all the medals. The Booster Club lent us their food wagon. Photographer Deborah Karson volunteered and took plenty of fun and exciting photos. And the Pelham Rec Department and Pelham School District once again played major roles in helping with the sports equipment and field.
Pelham Civic Todd Cross, whose 5th Grade daughter participated in a victorious tug-of-war event, volunteered his time and video talent as he attended his third Pelham Civic Olympic, adding “It’s hard to find a better town-wide event like this that brings together the entire community, across generations and schools.”
Founded in 1939, the Pelham Civics is one of New York State’s most active volunteer, charitable organizations. This award-winning association is dedicated to assisting the youth, the elderly, the financially needy, and the mentally and physically challenged. According to Pelham Civic President, Ken Shirreffs, “We are very appreciative and proud of Chairman Scott Brown, his committee, our Civic members and the many volunteers who came together to make this possible. This annual event not only provides fun competition for the kids…community camaraderie among the adults…but hopefully sends an important message to all that with volunteers working together, we can succeed at almost anything.”