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Pottsville Maroons’ 100th anniversary celebration kicks off with mixer

It should come as no surprise that athletics runs in the Lebengood family.

Nor should the fact that John Lebengood — son of Pottsville Maroons halfback Howard “Fungy” Lebengood — traveled an hour from his Reading home to Arrow Studio and Events in Pottsville for a Maroons National Football League team mixer sponsored by the Schuylkill County Historical Society. The 86-year-old was joined by his daughter, Tiffany Thompson, both proudly donning Pottsville Maroons gear to honor their roots.

“It’s good to be home,” Lebengood said.

As a stream of guests filled tables at the event center Saturday and shared warm wishes to Lebengood and Thompson at their designated table, he admitted he never understood where his father got the nickname Fungy from. The pair beamed with enthusiasm remembering their famed relative.

“We’ve always been a football family,” Thompson said. “So I mean, it’s really neat to be able to tell people that my grandfather was on the Pottsville Maroons, a professional football team.”

The three-hour-long 100th anniversary kickoff event featured Maroons trivia, tailgate food and showcased future events intended to preserve and promote the 1925 near-NFL champion team’s history. Some of those events include a golf tournament, train rides, educational contests and dances.

Pottsville Mayor Dave Clews leads the room in a Maroons cheer during the Pottsville Maroons mixer Saturday at Arrow Studio and Events in Pottsville. (Johnathan B. Paroby /contributing photographer)
Pottsville Mayor Dave Clews leads the room in a Maroons cheer during the Pottsville Maroons mixer Saturday at Arrow Studio and Events in Pottsville. (Johnathan B. Paroby/contributing photographer)

David Russek, historical society board member and chair of the celebration committee, said these efforts point toward one goal: preserving history and community connections.

“The key is getting everyone’s stories,” Russek said. “Because if we don’t do it now, it’ll be lost.”

The event also marked the induction of maroons.entre.one — a website that will allow individuals to share their personal connections to the former football team — which will develop into what Russek described as a “Netflix meets Instagram Reels” medium.

After extensive planning, Diana Prosymchak, historical society executive director, called the upcoming activities the fun part where the community truly gets to celebrate the Maroons.

“It actually puts reality in front of us,” Prosymchak said. “We’ve been looking forward to this. And to see that we’re putting out in front of people, knowing all our works coming together on our exhibit is starting to come together, we ordered our new cases where they exhibit all the work and planning that we put into everything is starting to come to light.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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