Boys & Girls Club has Solid Leadership  
Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Boys & Girls Club of Webster and Dudley installed new officers recently, and the presidency has changed by a generation, not by a surname.

John Lefebvre has taken leave of the main office after seven years, replaced by a son, Patrick Lefebvre, who prepped for the big gavel through 10 years as a director. John’s tenure brought the youth organization around the corner and up the street from its original location, to the new state-of-the-art facility build largely by the Gerald and Marilyn Fels Foundation.

There’s true giving in the organizational list. Besides his family’s munificence, Geralds Fels remains treasurer of the Boys & Girls Club, with retired educator John Meciak as assistant treasurer. That’s dollars and self.

Rounding out the organizational chart are Joanne Grzembski, first vice president; Deanne Mills, second vice president; Don Krol, secretary; and Robert B.J. Puchalski, Nathan Skarment, John Meciak, Paul Allain, Herbert Hopkins, Ken Canty, and Greg Marchand, board of directors. For an observation, this is a group that thinks about and works for the club’s juvenile constituency, making them special people.

Anthony J. Stefanik reprised the Super Bowl last week during a chance meeting in a town supermarket. It might be a generational trace, but I was in accord with most of his conclusions.

Mr. Stefanik, a retired pharmacist, watched the “big game” but wasn’t all that interested. Pittsburgh and Green Bay certainly have good teams, but “their player identities weren’t all that familiar,” said Tony. “If not the Patriots, the Jets or even the Giants could have caused more excitement hereabouts,” he suggested.

Tony remembered his preteen years, before the Patriots, when Webster-area football fans mostly followed the New York Giants. “Guys used to make trips down there to watch the Giants.” Y.A. Tittle, Frank Gifford, and Roosevelt Grier were some of their stars, he recalled. “They even had a couple of backs named Webster and Dudley at one time,” Tony concluded.

Staying with football, the Nichols College athletic website reported the appointment of Kevin Loney, a native of Middletown, Conn., as the Bisons’ new head football coach Jan. 24.

The information was released by Athletics Director Cheryl Roberts. Nichols will be Coach Loney’s first head football assignment. He’s been the defensive line coach at Upper Iowa University the last couple of years and was a grid intern at Notre Dame, surely an auspicious start for any coaching aspirant.

Ms. Roberts’ web entry says Mr. Loney is the 13th head football coach in the 79-year history of Nichols football. I can’t account for all 13, but my memory says the late Hal Chalmers and Mike Vendetti were the most successful.

Webster’s Andy Pryga, a friend of many years, has long been a Hubbard Regional Hospital cafeteria booster, and he was there when I visited the new Harrington at Hubbard eatery last Tuesday.

Cafeteria fare got short shrift, however. Basketball was on Andy’s mind. Once an avid Providence College follower, he’s gotten away from the Friars, Andy revealed.

He still attends a lot of basketball games, though. “These days, I go to Shepherd Hill games, and I’ve been to quite a few of them at Marianapolis Prep,” Andy said.

“They’ve got a very nice school down there (in Thompson), and I enjoy the atmosphere,” said Mr. Pryga. “I don’t know what his title is, but I see the office that Charlie Baron (of Webster) works in.”

A Killdeer Island group has formed what it calls a “Subaru Billboard Committee,” so named because they object to a high-in-the-sky advertising billboard near the Subura sales place.

The panel includes Kenneth J. Vacovec, Linda Littleton, Rhoda Kaczmarek and Richard Franas, identities lifted from a town weekly. I can’t say that I know any of the panelists, but I interviewed Mr. Vacovec some years ago when he was president of the Massachusetts Bar Association. He’s the founding partner in Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer, a Greater Boston law firm.

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Telegram & Gazette

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