The Staten Island Runner

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May 6, 2000

What's going on?

by Bob Orazem
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Where do I begin? Our organization called T.R.A.C.(Track Running and Community), whose goal is to get an Indoor Track & Field Facility built on Staten Island, is moving in leaps and bounds towards that goal. The organization was formed in March of 1996 and has had it's ups and downs over the years. We are currently on an up. We have prepared a very professional presentation on who we are and why Staten Island needs this facility. The Borough Presidents staff, the Parks Commissioner of Staten Island and some of our prospective Board of Directors have seen the presentation. The one thing we have learned is that we don't have to convince anyone any more.They all agree that this facility is needed. (After all we are the only area in the U.S. with a population of 400,000 without access to a track) But then I probably don't have to convince you either. We have put together a very professional group of interested persons from the running community to move this forward. But most running related people's expertise is in running ,not politics, writing and pursuing grants to develop this concept. So we have started interviewing prominent people from the community to form our Board of Directors.We have our first three directors:

1-Bob DeSantis-C.P.A.-Was involved in the renovation of the S.I. Tech Athletic Complex.

2-Tony Mascolo- Staten Island Advance 1999 Sportsman of the Year. Lawyer by trade. Director of the Plescia Track & Field Meet.

3-John Tobin- Former Track Coach, worked in a high position in the Board of Education and in private industry.

We are looking to form a Board with 12 prominent community people to move this forward. We will be interviewing people every 2 weeks and will announce others as they commit. Our prospective Board members are an equally impressive array of good people. We are not looking for running related board members but as we interview people we are impressed with the amount of people with experience in our great sport.

We have been asked to meet with THE Borough President on May 16th to discuss this movement. It could be a turning point in our plight.

Our next meeting is Wed. May 17th. at 7:30pm at Moore High School. If you are interested in helping please come. In case you noticed, I haven't mentioned the names of those helping. It's just that I don't want to leave anyone out. In future columns I will showcase an individual and write about how they are helping.

Will an Indoor Track & Field Facility ever get built on Staten Island? Who knows but at least we will be able to say we tried.Wish us luck!!! We will need it.

Bob Orazem