The First 50 Years:   1940 – 1990

Over the first 50 years, SRA cumulatively consisted of:

250  Board Members

1,500 Paid Staff

2,000 Volunteers

10,000 Participants

80,000 Activity Participation

Facilities used included:   Swarthmore High School, Swarthmore Elementary School, Swarthmore College, Churches, Community Center, Women’s Club, Parks, School District Fields

Two People that Did Everthing (participant, paid staff, volunteer, volunteer of the year, board president):   Bob Dawes (SHS ’60) and Weemie Kingham.

 

Flashbacks

  • 1940:   SRA incorporated on March 14.  President Maud Bishop.  Notes from the May 22 meeting:
    • Baseball team in Delaware Valley League
    • Pass the hat at games for funding
    • Baseball for small boys would be held at College
    • Dr. Luehring arrived at 8:50 pm
    • Swimming at College Pool should be secured
    • Physicians agreed to examine children for $0.50
    • Activities planned for summer:  band, crafts, softball, painting, nursery school, tennis taught by Ed Falkner (coach at college)
    • Liability Insurance for the summer = $12.50
  • 1944
    • Canoeing on the Crumb at the Strath Haven Inn
    • Clearing House for employment of young people
    • High School Tennis courts in poor condition
    • Woodworking, metal work, archery, softball, horseback riding added to the summer program
    • Board was looking for property to buy
  • 1945
    • Herman Bloom was the President
    • Movies at the High School
    • Surcharge for out of town children
    • Use of Swarthmore Prep. Gym
    • Pre-school and summer club had 200 children participating
    • Summer trip to visit farm
  • 1946
    • Professional Director was turned down by Borough Council
  • 1950
    • Budget of $3,000
    • Hornets baseball team for 11-13 yr olds played American Legion
  • 1954
    • Bill Reese (Teacher, Coach, Principal of SHS) became director of baseball program
    • College coach also coached a team
    • League required baseball hats
  • 1956
    • Board expressed concern of scheduling conflicts with Bible School and Swim Club
  • 1957
    • SRA Town Baseball League was formed with the help of the Lions Club.  135 boys participated in program which ended July 15
  • 1959
    • Basketball program started with 57 boys
    • Liability insurance jumped to $144.57
  • 1960
    • Knee-Hi Baseball League continued to expand and a Teener League was added to the program.  A total of 200 boys played baseball.
  • 1961
    • A resolution was passed to assume operation of the Garnet Canteen which was formerly directed by a parents committee chaired by Mary Bloom
    • On June 16 the SRA Board asked Borough Council to purchase the old Acme across from the Post Office
  • 1962
    • Summer Club chairperson Cornelia McCurdy appointed Don Henderson the Director of Summer Club
    • In the fall of 1962, Don Henderson proposed the following activities for 1962-63:
      • Jr and Sr. Canteens
      • Square Dance
      • Adult Sports on Monday nights
      • Knee-Hi Major and Minor Baseball League
      • Teener Baseball League
      • Nature Club
      • Dramatics
      • Arts & Crafts
      • Summer Basketball
      • Tennis
      • Summer Club for 4yr olds through 6th grade
    • Don Henderson named director of the year round program
  • 1964
    • Due to budget problems, Don Henderson was changed to summer director
    • Sr Summer Club offered for 6th, 7th and 8th grades
  • 1966
    • Sponsored a 14-15 yr old and 16-18 yr old in the Delco Baseball League
    • Sponsored a summer basketball league and brought back a teen job bureau
  • 1967
    • Bob Mudrick started the girls track program which led to a SHS team by 1972.  56 girls participated in Jr. Olympic Meets.
    • Ann Hazard brought 3 yr olds back in the Summer program
    • Changed Canteen to Open House
    • Bob Mudrick started Cross Country in the fall
    • Board appointed a girls’ activities chairperson
  • 1968
    • Bob Mudrick and Dan Goldwater started a boys’ track program
    • Putty Willetts directed Girls Softball
    • Cynthia Bender started Horseshoe tournament
    • Jim and Ron Noyes started the Great Bike Race
    • Dan Goldwater started boys (99) soccer which led to a SHS team by 1974
    • Full scale four season program with Don Henderson back as year round director
    • Budget of $17,000
    • Girls track program up to 82
    • Bowling was offered as a new program
  • 1969
    • Marilyn Collins was the first girl to play Knee-Hi Baseball
  • 1970
    • Bill and Andrea Kupprian became tennis instructors and adult tennis took off in Swarthmore and throughout the country.
    • Three adult classes from 50-70 participants were held throughout the year.
    • Putty Willetts ran a Girls’ basketball program
  • 1971
    • 65 boys from grades 4 through 6 played football on Saturday mornings.
    • Woodworking was added to the program.
  • 1972
    • Boys T-Ball was added to program.
    • Board discussed lot behind Women’s Club.
    • Girls soccer started with 23 girls.
    • Boys soccer grew to 204
    • Bridge Lessons offered.
    • Sponsored Basketball Night with 380 adults and children attending
    • Father-Son and Mother-Daughter Tennis offered.
    • Norm Weir started a chess class.
    • Joyce Perry became Pre-Schol Director.
  • 1973
    • Father and Son Basketball offered.
    • Tumbling offered.
    • Girls T-Bill added to program.
    • Girls Softball combined with NPAA.
    • Sr. High age girls softball team in Delco League.
    • Summer Street Hockey offered.
    • Winter Crafts offered.
  • 1974
    • Board purchased a van.
    • Girls Field Hockey had 62 girls participating.
    • Adult Sports night expanded to three nights.
    • Sewing Photography, Adult Square Dance offered.
    • Open Gym on Sunday
    • Slimnastics for adults offered.
    • Rutledge Boys Club Delco soccer program became part of SRA.
    • Requested Borough Council to put in town bike paths.
  • 1975
    • Local Law & Government class taught by Guy Smith.
    • SRA and church groups conducted a Sr. Adult Survey.
    • Indoor Gardening, American History, Creative Dance, Ballroom Dancing & Baton Twirling, Ballet, Needlepoint were offered.
    • Jogging Club started by Gene Martenson.
    • Summer Club Day Camp grew to 459.
    • Family Movie at the High School – The Endless Summer.
  • 1976
    • Sponsored Sr. Adult Trips.
    • SRA was a driving force in Bicentennial Celebration:  Picnic Supper & Fireworks on College Field (Cunningham)
  • 1977
    • 615 families participated in SRA
    • Ski trips to Killington and Poconos became part of the winter program
    • SRA Jazz Band directed by Linda MacDonald performed before a full house at Lang Concert Hall
    • Bike Hike, Adult Swimming and Adult Softball were offered.
    • Nancy Mudrick was the driving force in Swarthmore Community Center.
    • Summer Controlled Pitch started by Norm Haase
    • Jim England and Penny Hull won the SRA Annual Tennis Tournament
  • 1978
    • Lacrosse and Family Cooking offered.
    • Sr. Adult Trip to Radio City Music Hall.
  • 1979
    • President Bob Dawes persuaded Borough Council to restore SRA budget cut.
    • Doug Fischer added games and puzzles to winter program.
    • Indoor Soccer was started by Dave Fliegler.
    • Tennis for Grades 6-9 added to Spring program.
  • 1980
    • 300 people came to the SRA Town picnic.
    • The Lansdowne Concert Orchestra was sponsored by SRA
    • Knee-Hi All Stars challenged the girls Softball All Stars.
    • Nancy Forbes started Roller Skating Program.
  • 1981
    • Cross Country Ski Trip to Eagles Mere.
    • Family Canoe Trip, Gymnastics, and Aerobics was offered.
    • The following groups gave concerts – Jazz, Wind, Spring, Handbells.
    • Keith Robertshaw started Tri-County Girls Soccer Teams U-12 and U-14
    • Entered 5 Boys Team in Delco Soccer:  U-10, U-12, U-14, U-16, U-18
  • 1982
    • First year for the Adult Party – The Spring Fling
    • Sponsored Bike Day in Swarthmore, with bike inspection and riding tests.
    • SRA Board takes over paper drive from band parents.
    • Computers for Parents offered.
  • 1983
    • Computer Day Camp offered.
  • 1988
    • Kindermusic offered.
  • 1990
    • Squash introduced through Mike Mullan with Mark and Lisa O’Brien instructing.
    • Franklin Institute Family Camp-In organized by Janice Hays and Larry Schall.
    • Spring Developmental Soccer started, speerheaded by Don Grimes, Paul Rudolph, Larry Schall, Julie MacMullan and Chris Jones.