Lonnie Haile helps one of his pupil's footwork. Photo by Laura D'Alfonso.
In part two of a two-part series, NEast Philly examines what goes into making an athletic association successful, and what two neighborhoods are doing to keep kids active. Read part one
With one of the more unique community athletics offerings in the Northeast, Heavy Hitta’s Boxing in Lawncrest has rapidly grown since the days in which its members sparred on the open field behind Lawncrest Recreation Center.
The swift advance speaks to not only the dedication of the club’s coaches and members, but to the neighborhood’s desire for a strong community sports representation. The club’s boxers are training vigorously for Fists Full of Dynamite, an Independence Day weekend boxing tournament to be held within Rec Center.
Founded by club president Rick Terrell in late 2009, Heavy Hitta’s Boxing moved from the field to the clubhouse just this past May. Terrell admits that the club nearly happened accidentally. continue reading »
Players assume defense positions for the Fok-Rok offense. Photo by Laura D'Alfonso.
In part one of a two-part series, NEast Philly examines what goes into making an athletic association successful, and what two neighborhoods are doing to keep kids active.
As youngsters, we rarely considered the time and effort that went into running the machine-pitch baseball teams we played for, much less the work it took getting us runts to play a remotely coherent seven innings. Looking at expansive youth athletics organizations like Fox-Rok Athletics Association, one wonders what has made this community staple tick for nearly 60 years.
Fox-Rok AA corresponding secretary Ken Warner said there is more to building a successful organization than might even come to mind for most.
“Without volunteers, we wouldn’t have an organization,” Warner admits. “You need to have community support.”
Warner remembers when he joined Fox-Rok’s board of directors as both the secretary and later webmaster. He reminds anyone new to the organization that everything they need is on the Fox-Rok website.
“They weren’t computer savvy and I happened to be at the time,” Warner recalled. “They had a lack of communication that maybe they didn’t realize. Written and oral communications is key today.”
Warner said there is even more at stake when getting a community athletics organization to operate effectively.
“You have to have a financial backing. It’s outrageous what this all costs us,” he said.
Warner says that Fox-Rok receives a good amount of its funding from local business sponsors. Some of which place their advertisements on team uniforms. While Fox-Rok girls softball coach Jon Doherty said agrees the financial aspect is important, he also thinks that there is even more that contributes to a successful community sports club. continue reading »
Mayfair's popular Grey Lodge Pub serves an even larger crowd during Beer Week.
Out of more than 100 bars and pubs that celebrated Philadelphia Beer Week this year, only two beacons of craft beers and micro-brews – the Grey Lodge Pub and Three Monkeys Café – shone for the Northeast.
Mayfair’s Grey Lodge Pub, known for a massive selection of local and craft brews, and Three Monkeys Café, a bar and restaurant in Torresdale that recently entered the craft beer arena, were the only two bars in the neighborhood to host events.
However, executive director of the annual festivities Don Russell wants more.
“The Northeast is lagging with craft beer and their participation in Beer Week, but Three Monkeys and the Grey Lodge have done spectacularly,” Russell said. continue reading »
A Somerton Spartans player pitches a fastball during an NEPL game. Photo by Laura D'Alfonso.
Kids who play baseball and softball in the Northeast Peanut League were forced to stop for one week–not just because some of them were acting out of line–but their parents and coaches were as well. The league’s president, Frank Connelly, gave the executive order to quell the disorderly behavior.
“Prior to the beginning of May is our first half of the season. During that time, we were averaging about three ejections a night from both softball and baseball side,” said Connelly, who enforced the shut down in late May.
The reasons for ejection included the children spewing foul language toward umpires and each other, throwing equipment and arguing calls by parents and coaches to the point where it became inappropriate. continue reading »
Photo by Laura D'Alfonso
When faced with the reality of animal abuse, David Wolf, an already successful real estate investments owner, could have walked away. Instead Wolf put his passionate foot forward and took on a venture that would save thousands of greyhound’s lives.
The National Greyhound Adoption Program was established as a nonprofit organization in 1989 in Philadelphia. Wolf discovered the horrors of the greyhound racing industry just as he was about to slow down his life and spend time in Florida with his wife. After having a dinner conversation with a greyhound race organizer, it was revealed to him that the dogs’ fate was ultimately uncertain after their racing prime had ended.
According to NGAP’s official website, greyhounds are generally euthanized – if not either put up for adoption or taken in by greyhound rescue programs – using the least expensive methods possible. Because profit is the bottom line within the industry, reports of gunshot, starvation and even bludgeoning have surfaced. Wolf saw this as a call to action. continue reading »
What is it that motivates, or fails to motivate, an adolescent to learn? Both the Pennsylvania School Board and Abraham Lincoln High School, located on Ryan and Rowland avenues, opted to explore a possible answer to this question by completely restructuring the 60-year-old building.
According to project manager JCMS Inc., the renovation waves a price tag of $70 million on the recently finished construction of the new school building in September 2009.
continue reading »