Letter from the President (March 2020)

by Steve Maguire

I don’t want it to be so, but I might have moved into the stage of cranky old man pining for yesterday. You see, my pickup (which is just past 10 years old) is starting to have issues, and the local garage said, “Maybe it’s time.”  When did a new vehicle with limited rust meet this type of fate so quickly? What will become of those 16-year-old kids looking for their time with the family clunker to fill with their own dents, dings and memories? This truck will not go down without a battle.

Speaking of battles, I hope you had the chance to participate in the Pacer Palooza weekend last week. There was Wallyball on Friday and Royals Hockey on Saturday. Both events are great social events organized for our club members, their families, and guests. No different than my attempt to repair the truck, these events were competitive–full of laughter, mumbled curse words, and memorable antics. While the hockey was left to the pros, our Wallyball had a much broader talent pool. (I use that term loosely.) 

I believe we had as many as 4 courts in play with various levels, from toss around fun, to bragging rights, to trash-talking bump-set-rumbles.  

Between pickup games, the Colonial Fitness Center’s stadium setup provided an excellent space to enjoying socializing with food and refreshments. Thanks Brad and Karen Sinnen, and Brandon Bean among others for the great fun. 

If you were looking to relax and see the ice, which we’ve yet to encounter outside this winter, the Saturday Hockey game filled the bill. Not quite the “Broad Street Bullies,” but the Royals supplied the Marvel Superheroes. There was even a Spider-Man Meet-and-Greet. 

These Pacer events have been popular over the years, and the club provides discounts, food, and refreshments to encourage attendance. The work by the volunteers to make these events successful is so very important.

That brings up the latest Pacer Board meeting which was held in January.  We focused on some of the financials and approved increasing the spending on some of the club functions, member swag, and promotions. No different than spending on that old truck I’m still cursing in the driveway, we aim to continue to provide the benefits to the racing community and the active members that volunteer, participate, and encourage our athletes. To continue this club’s traditions and growth, we’re always seeking opportunities for improvement.

The recent news of races such as the Hershey Half and Bethlehem Rock-and-Roll Half being cancelled reminds us of an unfortunate trend which the Pacers have weathered as a club.  The Oley 10 miler and the Grings Mill run for example both pre-date pocket cell phones and GPS watches. Yes, we’ve seen the craze of color runs and theme races come and go, and although tempting, the club’s many races continue to stick with our core value of encouragement and participation in physical fitness and wellness. As a non-profit organization giving back to the community, it is you, the readers of this letter, who make the good stuff happen.

We are encouraged to see many new faces at the organized runs and the membership meetings. Word of mouth seems to be a great tool encouraging friends to join runs or meetings. With our last meeting in January, we were fortunate to add Dee Koutsourais-Ganster to our ‘membership team” and look forward to what will come from her enthusiasm and outreach to our community. We continue to look for members, new or old, to venture out and fill some roles, maybe dipping their toes in the water towards greater participation in the future. 

A great example of this is John Thompson and Lisa Domeshek, who have joined Race Director Polly Corvaia to support the Kris Kringle Race. Our monthly meetings are a great way to find out about other opportunities.

Similar to the arborist work Shaun Luther and Charlie Cromwell have been doing on the Horseshoe Trail in preparation for the aptly named Charlie Horse Half Marathon, we recently had a nice crew of Pacers at the Blue Marsh chainsaw safety training along with members of BAMBA. Between these 2 clubs we probably represent a good portion of the volunteer trail maintenance at the lake and the Corps is very appreciative. 

This appreciation was directly expressed by Brianna Treichler, the Volunteer Coordinator for the Army Corps who stopped by our February meeting to talk about some of the things going on at Blue Marsh and opportunities for the club’s involvement. I will have more follow-up details on that at our next Pacer meeting March 12th. Hope to see you there.

Time to quit typing, got to run……. Steve

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