On Sunday, October 9, 2016, the first annual Bill Suit Alumni softball game will take place at Shaler Area’s Hilltop Field at noon. Organized by Gina Chmielewski and members of the Hall of Fame Committee, this game will be held to honor a former principal, Bill Suit, who died of sarcoma three years ago.
“Bill was the principal for many, many years and everybody loved him. Kids loved him, administrators loved him, and teachers loved him. Even if you disagreed with him, you still realized he had everyone’s best interest at heart. He was just a phenomenal guy and definitely a mentor to me and to a lot of other people,” Chmielewski said.
Over thirty former softball players are taking part in this event in hopes of raising money for the Hall of Fame Scholarship that is awarded to an eligible senior each year. The ages of the alumni range from graduates of the year 1986, to as recent as last year, 2016.
In order to become a recipient of this scholarship, the student must meet the following requirements: a Varsity Letter in his/her senior season, a high GPA, participation in community service, and demonstration of outstanding character both in and out of school.
The idea came about when Mr. Dave Fortun, member of the Hall of Fame Committee, approached Mrs. Chmielewski and asked for her opinion on the matter. After agreeing that it was a good idea, she naturally took charge of it.
“Since I am a coach and have been coaching softball in the district and I just figured I would be able to get in contact with a lot of the alumni that I coached before. Then I put it out on Facebook and we got pretty big interest for it,” Chmielewski explained.
The committee already has some money in its funds from district-wide denim days, but this game’s purpose is to expand the funds further.
“I’d love to raise $1,000 but I need the weather to be good for the game. If the weather’s good, I think we can araise around $1,000,” Chmielewski said.
Another goal she hopes to achieve is to make this game become an annual event and watch as it grows even more.
As for participation, anyone is able to donate to the small concession stand at the game. Purple game day shirts, designed by Jacey Schott, are also for sale for $10.00. If unable to participate or volunteer, anyone is more than welcome to go cheer on the alumni and donate time to a good cause.