Congratulations are extended to John Bressler from our Columbia/Montour Counties program who received Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s Volunteer of the Month Award this month (June 2013). The award is presented to an individual who has exhibited exceptional commitment to Special Olympics, demonstrated appreciable time and effort, and has made an outstanding contribution to his/her program.
John is currently the head tennis and bocce coach. He has been a Head of Delegation (HOD), head coach, assistant coach, and/or volunteer at most local, sectional, and state events for the past ten years. He not only coaches tennis and bocce, but also can be seen at soccer, bowling, floor hockey, basketball skills, aquatics and athletics. John also takes responsibility for making sure that all of the training sites have the appropriate equipment. He takes care of the equipment and supervises the setting up and tearing down of the training sites for all of the sports. At each site, he can be found taking charge of the paperwork that includes attendance and score/time sheets. His truck has become home to sports equipment and all of the necessary sports paperwork. John’s job often requires him to put in overtime and work twelve-hour shifts. On the days when there are evening training sessions, he works 3:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. so that he can attend the sessions which often fall on consecutive days.
John has been treasurer for close to ten years. During that time, he has organized the finances and guided the management team towards being continually accountable for their spending and the requesting of funds. During fundraising events, he has the necessary funds ready for making change and requires at least one other management team member or volunteer to be present when tallying up the profits. At meetings, if anyone has a question about a bill or deposit, John knows exactly how much and when it was paid. He keeps a monthly record of what is spent and deposited and handles all of the equipment for the county.
John has been on the Bocce Bash committee since its inception nine years ago. At committee meetings, he is a positive influence for the Bloomsburg University students, often providing financial input and information from the previous invitational so that the students know their budget goals. Making sure he is available to move the bocce courts, rugs and other necessary equipment is a priority for John the week of Bocce Bash. He directs the students for moving the equipment and setting the courts up each year for the tournament.
John is a bocce clinician and official for the state. This has required him to travel to other areas and train both coaches and officials. Because of these roles, there are times when he also sets up tournament sites for sectional and state events. He would then help coordinate and run the venue if needed. Vacation days for John are often determined by when Special Olympics competitions are scheduled. He will schedule days off in advance to ensure that he is not working for the competition, whether it is local, sectional, state or an invitational.
Columbia Montour continually receives high marks on its treasurer reports and financial statements. John has recruited family members to help with not only training events, but also fundraising opportunities and athlete recruitment. He does not hesitate to ask parents and spectators to help if timers or scorekeepers are needed for training.