Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Many people came forward to introduce themselves to speaker Larry Bowa, among them three coaches from Moravian College: Paul Engelhardt, head baseball coach (left), John Byrne, softball coach (center) and Joe Forcelini, assistant baseball coach. Many people came forward to introduce themselves to speaker Larry Bowa, among them three coaches from Moravian College: Paul Engelhardt, head baseball coach (left), John Byrne, softball coach (center) and Joe Forcelini, assistant baseball coach.
When the kids arrived for dinner, things got lively. Did they want to have their picture taken with a legendary Phillie? You be the judge. When the kids arrived for dinner, things got lively. Did they want to have their picture taken with a legendary Phillie? You be the judge.
Kids and adults were assigned to tables in the Hotel Bethlehem’s Grand Ballroom, which was decorated for the occasion with balloons. Kathy Sanders leads one club member to her table. On the way she is greeted by Pat Sobrinsky (right). Kids and adults were assigned to tables in the Hotel Bethlehem’s Grand Ballroom, which was decorated for the occasion with balloons. Kathy Sanders leads one club member to her table. On the way she is greeted by Pat Sobrinsky (right).
Fifteen individuals, businesses and groups sponsored tables at the dinner. Joe Madison (left rear), board president of the Boys & Girls Club of Bethlehem, and colleagues from B&T Bank are shown here with other guests at their table. Fifteen individuals, businesses and groups sponsored tables at the dinner. Joe Madison (left rear), board president of the Boys & Girls Club of Bethlehem, and colleagues from B&T Bank are shown here with other guests at their table.
At the Zulily table, sponsors and kids enjoy dinner. Who ate the hamburgers, who ate steaks? The most important people at the dinner enjoyed steak. Zulily representatives include Dave West (blue shirt) and Jon Dailey (tan jacket). At the Zulily table, sponsors and kids enjoy dinner. Who ate the hamburgers, who ate steaks? The most important people at the dinner enjoyed steak. Zulily representatives include Dave West (blue shirt) and Jon Dailey (tan jacket).
160 people registered for the dinner including 60 kids who came as guests of the Club and adult sponsors. DeAnna Genthner (right), coordinated planning for the evening. 160 people registered for the dinner including 60 kids who came as guests of the Club and adult sponsors. DeAnna Genthner (right), coordinated planning for the evening.
While others at the table chat before dessert, Larry Bowa signs an autograph for Henry Velasquez. Next to Larry is his wife, Patty Bowa, who is speaking with a guest across the table, Tom Hall, a former president of the club. Chris Eline, an alumnus and board member, is talking with Henry. While others at the table chat before dessert, Larry Bowa signs an autograph for Henry Velasquez. Next to Larry is his wife, Patty Bowa, who is speaking with a guest across the table, Tom Hall, a former president of the club. Chris Eline, an alumnus and board member, is talking with Henry.
PRESS PHOTOS BY DENNIS GLEWDuring dinner, all-star magician Joe Keppel recruits guests to play his sleight-of-hand tricks. PRESS PHOTOS BY DENNIS GLEWDuring dinner, all-star magician Joe Keppel recruits guests to play his sleight-of-hand tricks.
The guest of honor, Larry Bowa, generously welcomes everyone who approached him, signing baseballs for several people and giving his signature to anyone who requested it. Here Gary Martell, chief professional officer of the club, introduces Larry to Matthew Santiago, a club alumnus who was “Youth of the Year” and now serves in the U.S. Navy. The guest of honor, Larry Bowa, generously welcomes everyone who approached him, signing baseballs for several people and giving his signature to anyone who requested it. Here Gary Martell, chief professional officer of the club, introduces Larry to Matthew Santiago, a club alumnus who was “Youth of the Year” and now serves in the U.S. Navy.
Larry Bowa delivers words of encouragement and hope to the assembled kids and their adult friends and supporters. Larry Bowa delivers words of encouragement and hope to the assembled kids and their adult friends and supporters.

Boys & Girls Club marks 88th year Club that beats the streets

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 by Dennis Glew Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Some 160 people, young and old, from many cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds, gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Bethlehem to celebrate an institution that serves all young people and binds them together, the Boys and Girls Club of Bethlehem, now 88 years old. Built next to the Marvine/Pembroke Village Housing Development, the club is open to kids ages 6-18.

The club is an active place. This past quarter there were 1,800 enrollees. “Over the summer, the building was packed,” said Gary Martell, the chief professional officer. Activities include programs to develop character and leadership, to enhance education and provide career direction, to teach health and well-being, to develop creativity, and to develop fitness, positive use of leisure time, and social and interpersonal skills. Gang prevention and drug prevention are key goals of the club. In Martell’s words, it is “the club that beats the streets.”

The highlight of the dinner was a moving speech by the guest of honor, one of the Phillies’ greatest players, the former all-star shortstop and manager, Larry Bowa. Larry was joined on the trip to Bethlehem by his wife, Patty. To support the club, Larry declined an honorarium.

Larry used his life story to encourage, advise and challenge his young listeners. Who would have guessed that a man who was elected to the National League All-Star Team five times and who was twice awarded the Golden Glove for defense was cut from his high school’s baseball team in all four years? Or who, in his first professional game, struck out four times? (That was nothing to be ashamed of, in fact – the pitcher was Nolan Ryan.) Larry generously attributed much of his success to others – to coaches who believed in him when he wasn’t sure about himself, to teammates who stood behind him on disappointing days – and to good luck. But he also emphasized his own commitment and hard work, and his determination to take advantage of every opportunity that presented itself. Dissatisfied with his performance at the plate, for example, he took batting practice till his hands bled. Dedication, hard work, and sacrifice are the keys to success in whatever career a young person chooses, Larry emphasized. Also essential are teammates and coaches such as the kids have at the Boys and Girls Club.

Bowa will be back in the Lehigh Valley on June 10, 2019, as the featured guest in the 40th annual golf tournament to support the Boys and Girls Club of Bethlehem. The tournament will take place at the Steel Club in Hellertown (formerly Silver Creek). For tickets, contact DeAnna Genthner, Director of Fundraising, at (484) 894-0122.

Another photo on A16