Fred Allan Softball Complex

LOWER MAKEFIELD – The board of supervisors passed a resolution that renames the softball fields at Oxford Roelofs Park in memory of Fred Allan.

Allan, 60, a coach and chairperson for the girls’ softball division of Pennsbury Athletic Association (PAA), passed away on March 25 after courageously battling prostate cancer. He often worked the concession stands at the field and coached girls’ basketball as well.

His leadership left an indelible mark on Lower Makefield.

 “I am very pleased to do this,” said Chairman Pete Stainthorpe of Allan, “and I feel he will always be a part of the community, especially for those of us who knew him so well. This will make him a part of the community even after some of us aren’t around anymore.”

A number of Allan’s immediate family and close friends attended the Wednesday, May 2 meeting.

The recreation facility, upon immediate passage, was designated as “Fred Allan Complex,” a fitting tribute Stainthorpe noted.

Allan served as a member of the board of supervisors from October 18, 1999 to December 31, 2001 and was instrumental in the development of the softball complex, which houses three diamonds, two bocce courts and a picnic and restroom facility.

Stainthorpe recognized Allan for his tremendous impact on the community and is happy to see this project, which he said will “last in perpetuity.”

Newly-elected supervisor Dobby Dobson echoed Stainthorpe’s sentiments, explaining that his impact is seen township wide.

“I know he’s up there looking down on us,” Dobson said, “and he always had a saying that ‘every day is a holiday.’ I’m in total support of this [measure].”

Former supervisor Greg Caiola, now commissioner of PAA, threw his full support behind the measure, praising Allan for his altruism. He said PAA will kick in $250 to erect new signage for the balls fields.

Allan helped organize the Christine McCaffrey Community Emergency Fund in 2004 after a fire severely damaged the McCaffrey’s Supermarket, which helped store owner Jim McCaffrey provide health benefits for his employees.

 The fund was named after Jim McCaffrey’s wife, who passed away a few months prior to the fire. It received an outpouring of support and witnessed extreme success, raising $250,000 in its first year of operation.

“This is an outstanding recognition for a man with a big heart, so I thank you for this,” McCaffrey addressed the board.

Fred’s youngest child, Janine, thanked the supervisors for acknowledging her father’s last impression on the township.

“I have the best memories of my dad at those fields and I hope that many other girls can share similar memories,” she told the board. “I miss my dad every day, so I appreciate you all doing this.”

The motion passed unanimously. Supervisor Stainthorpe also included that the township will hold a ceremony to unveil the signage and officially introduce the fields as Fred Allan Complex.

Originally publshed by Bucks Local News, May 3, 2012

Fred Allan

Caiola - Stoddart Baseball Complex

LOWER MAKEFIELD – Greg Caiola and Bob Stoddart both gave much of their lives to Lower Makefield Township, specifically youth athletics.

Sadly, both of those lives were cut tragically short, but Lower Makefield officials and residents gathered Saturday afternoon for an hour-long ceremony during which their impact was remembered and signs were unveiled ensuring that impact will never be forgotten.

The ceremony took place at the sports complex on Edgewood Road where both men made their township mark. State Rep. Steve Santarsiero was the host, talking about both men and introducing the families who were there to share in the love and affection shown for their loved ones.

 “It’s a bittersweet day, because we’d all like to have these men with us then doing the dedication,” Santarsiero said. “You can’t control what happens in life, but it’s fitting that because they passed early and they gave so much to the community that the dedication is happening here. This is the place where kids come and build great memories. To dedicate a place like that to two men who loved helping kids is very appropriate.”

In addition to Santarsiero, Lower Makefield Supervisor Pete Stainthorpe spoke to the crowd and Doug Hoglund, pastor of Woodside Church – where Caiola was an active member — offered an invocation. Caiola’s widow, Janet, flanked by the couple’s sons Ben and Jordan, gave an emotional speech, as did Stoddart’s son, Tom.

“He would be delighted by this, but he also would say, ‘You’re making too big a deal,’” Janet said. “We don’t believe that and neither do you. We can’t be more thankful for what you’ve done.”

The three fields in the complex were rededicated to Stoddart, who essentially spearheaded the effort that culminated with the formation of the Pennsbury Athletic Association (PAA) in the 1980s. The fields have carried his name for many years, and were rededicated Saturday. The park was renamed after Caiola, and Santarsiero made it official.

“Welcome to the Greg Caiola Baseball Park and Robert Stoddart fields. May this be a place of happiness and the making of many memories for generations to come.”

The dedications were made possible after the Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors approved a resolution naming the sports complex after Caiola, who served on the board and died in 2013 from cancer. Santarsiero and Stainthorpe led efforts to raise the funds necessary to make the plaque and signs and, by extension, the dedication ceremony honoring the two men, possible.

Family members threw out first pitches so an afternoon of fall ball could begin. Just the way both men would have wanted it.

Originally publshed by Bucks Local News, September 22, 2014