EntertainmentA Ardour for Sports activities and Leisure in Glad...

A Ardour for Sports activities and Leisure in Glad Valley


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Fritz Smith, Joe Battista and Scott Sidwell introduce the Glad Valley Sports activities and Leisure Fee throughout a press convention on Nov. 16, 2021 at Beaver Stadium. Picture courtesy Glad Valley Journey Bureau

I had the glory of collaborating in an thrilling announcement final Tuesday afternoon at a press convention within the Beaver Stadium Media Middle.  Sitting alongside Glad Valley Journey Bureau President and CEO Fritz Smith and Penn State Deputy Athletic Director Scott Sidwell, we publicly introduced the formation of the brand new Glad Valley Sports activities and Leisure Fee. In my new position because the chair of the fee, I’m excited to convey my ardour for Centre County and the Glad Valley Journey Bureau to this initiative that we imagine will profit the complete space.

Why this and why now? The straightforward reply is that this: it simply makes “sense” and “cents.” I’ve been a member of the group since 1978, and my household and I’ve loved the various blessings of collaborating in what Centre County provides in the best way of sports activities and leisure. Now could be the proper time to formalize what has already been a profitable partnership between the various stakeholders who share a ardour for the deep-rooted historical past of each sports activities and leisure in our valley.

Personally, I used to be drawn to this initiative due to the win-win targets and the enjoyable folks I’ll get to spend time with as we assist develop the already nice fame of our space as a vacation spot for households and folks trying to take pleasure in our many treasures. Sure, there may be most undoubtedly an financial purpose for the fee. I feel that could be a nice goal as we convey pleasure to folks in trade for the various advantages that our area will derive from the cash they may spend on our native companies, together with our resorts, eating places and stores.

My very own private imaginative and prescient assertion is completely aligned with the objectives of the Glad Valley Sports activities and Leisure Fee: “To encourage and assist folks to reside joyful, fulfilling lives whereas serving others first. To kind partnerships with different ‘Passioneers’ to make a optimistic impression for the higher good.” As a result of I’ve spent the majority of my profession concerned in youth, school {and professional} sports activities as a coach, teacher, administrator and amenities supervisor, I’m particularly excited to collaborate once more with different “Passioneers” who convey pleasure to others by way of sport and leisure.

Driving by way of our county, all over the place you go you will notice athletic fields and venues that we hope to assist coordinate for max use to host tournaments, showcases, state, regional and nationwide competitions, clinics and camps, together with the world-renowned Camp Woodward. Our goal shall be to respect every space’s major perform and viewers whereas collaborating, cooperating and compromising for the higher good of the county. Oh, sure, there shall be challenges, however with the correct folks sitting round the correct desk on the proper time we are able to create magic to learn everybody.

It’s no large secret that one among my very own pet initiatives is to see an NHL recreation in Beaver Stadium.  Nonetheless, I favor a “Stadium Collection” recreation over the Winter Basic. The Winter Basic is best recognized however it’s all the time performed on New 12 months’s Day, and that creates a excessive risk of a battle with the Penn State soccer group taking part in in a bowl recreation at the moment of the 12 months. I firmly imagine we are able to host a Stadium Collection recreation and imagine it may be an enormous success proper round a time after we can pull collectively the sources to make it occur. As a result of we have to “winterize” Beaver Stadium, I’d counsel the answer is to focus on the week after the Huge Ten Soccer Championship (second week of December) because the climate ought to be chilly sufficient to take care of high quality ice whereas permitting for secure journey to the realm. A Penguins vs. Flyers common season recreation in Beaver Stadium shall be a really engaging vacation spot occasion. Add out of doors video games on the identical weekend for our Penn State males’s and girls’s varsity hockey groups and the sports activities world shall be targeted as soon as once more on Centre County. My firm’s motto is to “Dream Huge. Maintain it Actual. Get it Finished!” You’ll be able to wager I’ll be pushing exhausting for this dream to return true.

However wait, it will get higher, as a result of the fee isn’t one dimensional; it’s additionally about showcasing the huge potential leisure choices of the realm. Consider the probabilities of bringing collectively the collective knowledge of the oldsters who manage the Grange Honest, Central Pennsylvania Pageant of the Arts, Central PA 4th Fest, Ag Progress Days, Folks’s Alternative Pageant, and the musical and theatrical occasions held on the many space theatres and leisure venues.

Let me brag a bit in regards to the success of one among our standout venues that’s celebrating its twenty fifth anniversary, the Bryce Jordan Middle, and my good good friend Al Karosas, the overall supervisor of the BJC. My household and I’ve been lucky sufficient to see headliners and reveals together with Elton John and Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, Whitney Houston, Sesame Avenue Dwell, NSYNC, Brittany Spears, Jim Gaffigan, Strolling with Dinosaurs, The Jonas Brothers, Jeff Dunham and Garth Brooks. By the best way, the rumors of Garth and his crew taking part in hockey with us from midnight to three within the morning are true and sure, Garth did drive the Zamboni!

Al Karosas not too long ago advised me, “The success of attracting future occasions is correlated to how nicely the group helps our reveals. The assist has been superb over time. We’re competing to get occasions with bigger inhabitants facilities, so we should make the shopper expertise distinctive. Our workers has been terrific at offering nice customer support and that could be a large cause we are able to herald some nice acts and reveals.”

Apart from Penn State males’s and girls’s basketball video games and the wrestling match in opposition to Ohio State, the BJC shall be internet hosting Cirque Goals: Holidaze on Dec. 16 and the already bought out Billie Eilish “Happier Than Ever, The World Tour on Feb. 10.  Future occasions embody the Harlem Globetrotters, Winter Jam 2022, and comic Bert Kreischer.  Nation singer Kane Brown not too long ago wowed a packed Bryce Jordan Middle and Trans-Siberian Orchestra as soon as once more introduced their distinctive model of leisure to Centre County.

So, image the next scenes, the likes of which play out often in our Glad Valley Sports activities and Leisure zip codes. Final Friday morning I had the pleasure of internet hosting superintendents and CTC Administrators from the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11 for my Pragmatic Ardour program on “Resilience, Change and Endurance.” It was nice to see associates Dr. Shawn Kovac, Tracy Hinish, and Tim Miller and meet the members who traveled from Warfordsburg, Huntingdon, Mount Union and elsewhere within the area to attend the perform. We held it on the Windswept Farms Re Farm Cafe, owned and operated by my previous good friend Duke Gastiger. After a beautiful lunch, we took the group to Pegula Ice Enviornment for a tour.

Members of Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11 touring Pegula Ice Enviornment. Picture by Joe Battista

Later that night a former school roommate, Jim Zarnick, who was visiting from Ashburn, Virginia for the soccer recreation, and I finished off on the BJC to benefit from the twenty fifth anniversary present of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  Whereas standing within the concession line previous to the present, I noticed the gentleman standing instantly in entrance of me was Intermediate Unit 11’s very personal Tim Miller who caught round to benefit from the present.

It was my third time seeing TSO on the BJC, and so they all the time assist me to get into the vacation spirit. The choreography, gentle present and the particular results by no means disappoint. Brian Hicks, the Christmas-themed present’s narrator, has a James Earl Jones voice that gave me chills. TSO’s rendition of “Outdated Metropolis Bar” actually introduced tears to my eyes. Afterwards we joined associates Chris and Mark Woytowich at Hello Approach Pizza Pub for drinks. Simply doing our half to spur the native economic system!

On Saturday we tailgated with associates earlier than the Penn State Soccer recreation and loved the festivities that acknowledged our army. Was anybody else impressed with the poise of our freshman QB Christian Veilleux? How in regards to the Canadian connection of Veilleux to Malick Meiga for a landing? Lastly, on Sunday morning we visited Pegula Ice Enviornment to see my nephew Nicholas Battista. He introduced his U-14 women hockey group to Glad Valley to play in opposition to State School. I overheard the younger women speaking a few journey to the Creamery earlier than heading dwelling.

Not a nasty weekend of working towards what we preach, eh?

Individually, because the chair of the fee, I shall be reaching out to my associates, athletic directors and enterprise homeowners in the neighborhood for concepts and recruiting volunteers to assist make some magic occur. What do I like most about this endeavor? Ultimately, everybody wins, and we get to have enjoyable within the course of.

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