Flagpole dedicated in memory of Bob Tobash
By Rebecca Zemencik, Managing Editor • firstname.lastname@example.org
HEGINS – On Saturday morning, friends, family, sponsors and athletes gathered at Field 3, the newest Tri-Valley Girls Softball Association Field at the Hegins Park as it was opened for play and the flag and flagpole dedicated.
President of the Association Dave Masser, gave the opening remarks and the history of how the Tri-Valley Girls Softball Association came to be.
“In 1987, Cindy Clark, David Koppenhaver, and Jack Herb recognized the need for a youth softball program here in the Tri-Valley area,” said Masser. “That year at Jack’s kitchen table, Cindy, David, Jack and the head coach of Upper Dauphin Softball program created the structure of the program. The founder’s also used the relationship with UDA to get an invitation to the Tri-County League, the league that our association participates in today.”
Masser said Jack relayed to him that he, Cindy and David, begged, borrowed, and pleaded to get the $4,000 of starting money to get things rolling for the program.
Goof faith by vendors of the community and surrounding areas helped give the Tri-Valley Girls Softball Association its start and in 1987 a program was started in the valley.
Field one was constructed at the Hegins Park, ten lights were installed. Over time the founder’s children graduated from the program but new leaders took on the challenge, embracing the growing participation in softball by the children of the local community.
More then a decade after the creation of the TVGSA, field 2 was installed in 2003, providing regulation ASA tournament field that could host NCAA level play if needed.
The board at the time used personal guarantees to finance the funds for field 2, and within two years the association had the field 2 endeavor paid, and the TVGSA now had two fields for the girls.
Time passed and a new generation of leaders assumed responsibility for the program. The board of directors present at the ceremony Saturday, recognized the need for an additional field to accommodate the growing number of participants in the association.
In 2013 the TVGSA has had as many as 130 participants in one season, the most in the league, and they were running out of practice space.
The vision of a third field to support 10 and under players was put on paper, and with HEgins Park Association approval, the leaders began construction of the field in the spring of 2014. Now two years later, the field is officially ready for play.
Masser thanked contributors of the Field 3 projects and said without the support of people like them it wouldn’t have been possible.
The Brown Family was thanked for their monetary donation in memory of Jared, Kristen and Kesley Brown. Kristen played softball when she was in school and the family was generous in donating to the project.
CBA Environmental, owned by Bruce Bruso, donated the fill for the field, all 3,000 tons of it.
“Without Bruce’s generosity this project would never have happened, it would have been financially impossible,” said Masser. “Thank you to Bruce and his staff for everything they did to help.”
Diamond Jubilee Memorial Post 2325 provided a monetary donation.
The Hegins Park Association was thanked for allowing TVGSA to build the facility and for letting them use the facility and their generosity with the infield dirt, wash rooms, and having a beautiful park for the children to enjoy.
Masser also thanked Hegins-Hubley Authority for getting water to the field and concession stand; Frank Krammes Excavating for seeding and establishing the turf and Maurer Excavating for stripping the topsoil and hauling fill, and getting things done; Sterman Masser, Inc. Potato Farms: Mike Fester and Guy Herb spent countless months excavating, grading, spreading diamond tex, installing drains and pipes, building fence, installing poles, installing water lines, and most importantly treating the project like it was their own and making every detail perfect; Summit Anthracite for donating countless hours of equipment time and resources; Schreffler Equipment for donating the flag pole and the Tri-Valley Youth Activities Fund for the generous grant awarded to the association.
Thanks was also offered to the participants and families of the TVGSA for fundraising and believing in the project and supporting the organization. According to Masser, with their efforts, the field will be paid after this season.
The board of directors dedicated the flag pole positioned between field 2 and 3 to the late Bob Tobash.
Bob served in the Marine Corp and the Navy. He was a member of the Hegins Park Association, Tri-Valley Lions Club, Valley View Gun Club and the Hegins Fire Company. He was a past member and Citizen of the Year for the Hegins-Valley View Rotary Club. He was founder and co-chairman of the Schuylkill County Wine Festival. He was the past president of the Fred Coleman Memorial Shoot for more than 20 years.
“Without his support, this project would have never happened,” said Masser.
Masser recalled what Bob said while discussing the idea of the field at the initial park association board meeting. “This park is for the children of our community, and if this project allows for more children to be here, we need to make this happen,” said the late Tobash.
“We will always be grateful for his support, dedication to his community, his vision for the future, and most importantly his friendship,” said Masser.
Bob’s family was presented with a plaque that will be mounted to the flagpole in Bob’s memory.
Jessica Underkoffler, a Tri-Valley High School student sang the National Anthem as the flag was raised.
To officially open the new field, the board of directors and committee chairs joined Masser in cutting the ribbon..