It was a soggy day but hundreds of volleyball players and spectators jammed into Memorial Park, Pottstown. The weather tomorrow is supposed to be much better so hopefully it will be a brighter day and no rain! This was the third day of the Rumble. Saturday and Sunday are the two biggest days of competition.
The Pottstown Rumble is a 4-day fun-filled event – Thursday June 25 to Sunday, June 28, 2015. Along with amazing competition at all levels of the tournament, the Rumble offers plenty of other activities: food, music, and fun. The Rumble starts off Thursday with the Dream in Gold Clinic hosted by 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist Misty May with her Father Butch May – 1964 Olympian. Other instructors include high level volleyball players and coaches. Friday brings our Pottstown Rumble Juniors Grass Doubles Tournament ages 18 and under. Saturday morning starts off with a bang with a beefed up fireworks show as over 2,000 players eagerly wait to start their day. Saturday afternoon brings Women’s Pro Finals to center court while the Men’s Pro division wraps up Sunday afternoon competing for the $5,000 first place price. There will be gourmet food, clothing vendors, an on-site massage therapist, and high-energy music throughout the weekend!! All visitors welcome!!
All registrations are first come first serve! You will be notified prior to registering if you are NOT at the main field. Anyone registering after June 21 will be charged a late fee of $20 per entry, this includes walk-on’s if space is available. Walk-on’s will most certainly be playing on satellite fields.
For more information, check out their website: https://pottstownrumble.com/
POTTSTOWN — As twilight fell, two pairs who’d battled through two full days of Men’s Open play at the Pottstown Rumble battled in an evenly-matched final for $5,000 before a crowd of hundreds.
When it was over, Hudson Bates and Mark Berik, the 2011 Rumble Men’s Open Champions, added the 2013 crown to their resumes.
“Honestly, the Rumble is the best grass tournament in the country, I think,” said Bates, from Richmond, Va. “They stepped it up big-time this year. Great organizers, great sponsors, it’s just a fun, fun tournament. It’s awesome.”
By winning two games 11-6 and 11-9 in the best of three final, Bates and Berik, from Queens, N.Y., beat a pair from Ellicott City, Md., whom the courtside announcer dubbed the “Maryland Marauders,” Aaron Russell and Eric Lucas.
POTTSTOWN — The neatly manicured grass courts and multicolored neon nets in Memorial Park got more use Friday during the Dream in Gold Juniors Tournament.
Nearly 100 doubles teams signed up to play in the first juniors tournament at the Rumble, according to Rick Hanson, the director of project management for the Pottstown Rumble.
Hanson said the largest age group was the 18-and-under girls.
Supporters camped out to watch their children play under umbrellas, tents and canopies that sprayed water periodically. There were folding chairs, blankets and battery powered fans to keep the players and their family members cool between matches.
POTTSTOWN — Nearly 240 sweaty, tired participants filed into a tent to get a picture and an autograph with Misty May-Treanor after the Dream in Gold clinic Thursday.
And the Olympic beach volleyball legend wasn’t about to disappoint any of her fans.
Despite a long day of walking from clinic group to clinic group helping players improve their skills, May-Treanor signed autographs and took pictures with each participant in front of the large inflatable volleyball that now sits in the middle of Memorial Park.
She even turned the cameras around and took selfies with the fans and one of her Olympic gold medals.
Editor’s note: We agree!!!
If there was ever a time to come out and support the Pottstown Rumble, this is it.
The Rumble is an annual grass tournament in Pottstown started more than 20 years ago by a group of volleyball enthusiasts.
The group, led by by Ken Kaas, worked tirelessly to grow the tournament, starting with some nets in Memorial Park to become the largest grass tournament on the East Coast.
Kaas and his cadre of volunteers got business sponsors to make the pot of prize money attractive to some of the best volleyball players in the country, some from other countries as well.
Like the little engine that could, Sheila Dugan has taken the throttle of the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA) and is chugging uphill toward her vision of a revitalized central business district.
Unlike Main Street Managers in the past, this dynamo hit the ground running and is pulling PDIDA into the 21st century at warp speed. The PDIDA board has been reorganized, assessments are being collected, activities are being scheduled and a new cooperation is being fostered between PDIDA, borough hall, PAID, the TriCounty Community Network and other entities in Pottstown.
Sheila actually lives in Pottstown, is a downtown business owner (she and her husband own Grumpy’s) and her children attend the Pottstown School District. Sheila is INVESTED in Pottstown (a missing component in past Main Street Managers).
The perception of business owners in the downtown, by the general public, is poor. Sheila is trying to raise awareness that most businesses downtown are Mom and Pop operations. In many cases, one owner, one employee. Trying to “do it all” six days a week from open to close does not leave much time for people to attend PDIDA meetings (or much of anything else).
To combat the time problem, Sheila has come up with an innovative solution – block captains. The block captains will talk with their assigned business owners and attend the meetings to speak for the group they represent. The block captains will then convey the meeting results back to their group. Email is also being used to keep PDIDA members updated, in addition to block captains and meetings.
Sheila has been working closely with the Pottstown Police Department and Borough Manager Mark Flanders toward a solution for the vagrant problem downtown. Sheila said Mark Flanders and the Pottstown Police Department have been extremely helpful and cooperative in working toward a solution for this problem. You will see more police officers downtown walking a beat along with other measures that are aimed at making the downtown clean, safe and a welcoming atmosphere for shoppers, arts and restaurant patrons.
PDIDA is also working with the numerous social services agencies in Pottstown. These agencies will also play a role in managing the homeless and idle population that have been congregating downtown and hampering revitalization efforts.
Sheila works hand-in-hand with Pottstown Area Industrial Director Executive Director Steve Bamford to help market Pottstown and fill empty store fronts with new businesses. She said Steve Bamford has been great to work with. Marketing Pottstown is not an easy job.
Another important cooperative effort taking place is between the Pottstown Codes Department and PDIDA. Every building within the PDIDA zone is being reviewed and code violations are being identified where they exist. Clean and safe buildings are certainly more appealing to consumers!
Like many organizations, PDIDA has lost a large percentage of its funding. Sheila said individual and corporate sponsors are desperately needed as well as volunteers. For example, the PDIDA office downtown needs volunteers to help staff the office. Sheila is also working on fundraising efforts and is applying for grants to help fund events and projects.
While we are on the subject of funding and budgets, Sheila is Pottstown’s official Main Street Manager but receives only a fraction of the salary the former managers were paid. This is due to the loss of funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for the Main Street Program. Pottstown is fortunate to have someone willing to take on this herculean task, put in the time, do the hard work and get results on a shoestring budget.
One last thing before I give you a list of upcoming events downtown. A while ago, one of my readers asked me if the façade program was still in existence. I emailed the former Main Street Manager, identified myself and posed my reader’s question. I never received the courtesy of a reply. I asked Sheila about this during our conversation and she told me that the façade program does indeed still exist and there is still money available.
Some exciting PDIDA events to look forward to include:
June 8 – 2nd Annual Iron Horse, motorcycle show
June 20 – Rumble Downtown (includes Misty May-Treanor and live music).
July 20 – 2nd Annual Sidewalk Sale
October 12 – 6th Annual Riverfest – PDIDA is taking on this event and adding an evening component from 6pm – 8pm which will include live bands, artists, beer garden, a Bike/Art event and a TriPAC show at 8pm. Downtown restaurants will be participating.
Sheila said she is always looking for participants, live music, artists and street performers for PDIDA events. I will again put in a plug for individual and corporate sponsors.
The Pottstown Visitors Center aka the PDIDA office is located at 17 North Hanover Street in downtown Pottstown. The phone number is (610) 323-5400. Sheila Dugan is the Main Street Manager and her direct line is (484) 948-6061. The website is http://downtownpottstown.org/
Editor’s note: Very exciting news.
POTTSTOWN — Take a deep breath, Pottstown Rumble fans.
When it comes to the best players in beach volleyball, they don’t come any better or more famous and admired worldwide than May-Treanor and Jennings.
May-Treanor retired after the 2012 Summer Games in London after the pair won gold in 2004, 2008, and 2012.