“Hey guys, let’s go. Third base needs to be raked, first based needs to be raked. There’s a lot of work left to do,” Lou DeCree said as he yelled over to the group of seventh graders playing on the nearby tennis courts.
This group of boys worked for the past two hours by picking up leaves in an effort to get the baseball field at the Officer Daniel Boyle Memorial Playground in Somerton ready for the spring season.
It’s spring clean up time and DeCree, the President of Daniel Boyle Athletic Program, is leading the group of coaches and baseball players who have volunteered their time to get the field ready for the upcoming season.
Despite the promised near-60 degree weather and sunshine, 9 a.m on March 12 was a cold day. The wind whipped volunteers as they worked, which made the temperature feel closer to the low 40s. The boys went right back to work to rake the leaves that gathered along the third base line.
“The next group of boys will be coming soon,” DeCree said. “We try to get a different group in every hour and a half. That’s really as long as we can hold their attention anyway.”
DeCree has lead the spring clean up for the last 15 years, ever since he, along with two other men — Joe DeMayo and Lou Sannutti – started the athletic program at the Boyle Rec Center.
“We do this the second Saturday in March,” DeCree said. “This is a Philadelphia park. The city does not have a lot of funds to take care of it so we take it upon ourselves to get this ready. We try to keep it clean for the neighbors across the street.”
DeCree has been volunteering all his life. continue reading »