Category Archives: Sports

Donor Dash Weekend: Life-Saving Events Culminate in 10K at the Art Museum

Buildings and Bridges to Light Up in Green and Blue Ahead of 24th Annual Race

The City of Brotherly Love will prove this weekend that no place has more heart. A series of events by Gift of Life Donor Program and its supporters will draw more than 10,000 people from throughout the Philadelphia region, raise hundreds of thousands of dollars and save lives by supporting organ and tissue donation.

On Friday evening, landmarks across the city will light up in green and blue – the official colors of organ donation awareness – as part of National Donate Life Blue and Green Day. Buildings will include the Ben Franklin Bridge, the BYN Mellon Center, Two Liberty Place, the Cira Centre Towers, and more.

On Saturday, runners from across the region will meet at the Gift of Life Family House for a picnic before race day.

On Sunday, the Gift of Life Donor Program will host more than 10,000 participants in the 24th Annual Donor Dash at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Dash takes place every April, which is National Donate Life Month. More than 5,000 men, women, and children in the Philadelphia region are waiting for an organ transplant. They are among nearly 114,000 waiting nationwide. Twenty people on the waiting list die each day.

About the Donor Dash

Pre-race Picnic:                               Saturday, April 13

10:00am – 2:00pm

Gift of Life Family House

401 Callowhill St.

Philadelphia, PA 19123

Participants will collect their Dash race materials during a picnic. There will also be food, music, and more fun activities to get everyone pumped up for an exciting race the next day!

Sunday, April 14

                              6:00am: Registration opens

                              7:10am: 10K Run begins

                              7:20am: 5K Run begins

                              7:45am: Kids Fun Run begins (for kids six and under)

                              8:00am: Opening Ceremonies

8:30am: 3K Walk


Participants can register on-site the morning of the Dash. Click here for more information:

About the Gift of Life Donor Program

Gift of Life Donor Program is the non-profit, federally-designated organ procurement organization, serving 11.2 million people across the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware.  Its annual donation rate ranks among the highest in the world. Since 1974, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 47,000 life-saving organs for transplant, and approximately one million tissue transplants have resulted from the generosity of donors and their families.  One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people, and a tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than 75 others. For more information or to register, visit

About the Gift of Life Donor Dash

The Dash began with a group of only 800 people, as a result of Claire Braverman’s wish to honor her husband, Mickey, who passed away while waiting for a liver transplant.  Claire wanted to turn her grief into something positive, so she organized the first-ever Donor Dash in his memory.  Today, the Dash continues to honor Mickey, donors and donor families – and the more than 5,000 men, women and children in Gift of Life’s region who are awaiting a life-saving organ transplant.

The 2018 Donor Dash drew more than 10,000 dedicated Dashers, nearly 400 teams, and raised more than $600,000 for Gift of Life outreach programs to educate the community about the significant need to register more organ and tissue donors.

Contact: Karen Muldoon Geus



West Park in “Stars”

from Wikipedia

The P.R.R. YMCA Athletic Field, also known as Penmar Park and commonly referred to in the 1930s and 1940s as the 44th and Parkside ballpark, was an athletic field and ballpark in West Philadelphia from 1903 to the early 1950s. It was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad YMCA. It was the home of the Pennsylvania Railroad YMCA of Philadelphia football club, often called the “Railroaders”, from 1903 through 1905, and the Philadelphia Stars Negro league baseball club from 1936 until 1952. The field was also used as a multi-sport athletic field used by the local community. During the 1930s the field was the site of home football games of Overbrook High School and St. Joseph’s Preparatory School. Overbrook also played their home baseball games there. For example, thePhiladelphia College of Pharmacy held 1906 Commencement Week “Athletic Games” at the field.The independent Norfolk Black Bombers all-black barnstorming football team played the Washington Willow Trees on Thanksgiving Day 1942 at the park.[3] Stars co-owner Eddie Gottlieb organized a semi-professional baseball team called the “All-Phillies” which played at the field in its later years.

The field first opened on May 3, 1903. The ballpark itself was erected in the 1920s. Lights were added in 1933 to allow for night games.[5]

Behind the park’s right-field fence stood the roundhouse of the main yard of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Stars player Stanley Glenn would later recount how smoke and soot from the coal-powered trains would waft into the ballpark. Glenn recalls that the Stars would often stop their games until the smoke had cleared from the field.[7] Players recalled the field being rarely manicured resulting in the grass growing high.

Ballpark capacity is said to have been 5,000  to 6,000 people. Overflow crowds would bring attendance up to 10,000.

Philadelphia Stars Baseball

The ballpark was owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad and Stars co-owner Eddie Gottlieb leased it from the Railroad for the club. The Stars played their home games at the ballpark with the exception of Monday nights when the Stars would play in North Philadelphia at Shibe Park, home of the Philadelphia Athletics and starting in 1938, the Philadelphia Phillies.

Negro League emblem
Negro League emblem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Biographer Mark Ribowsky documented that Pittsburgh Crawfords catcher Josh Gibson hit a long home run in a game against the Stars early in the 1936 season that flew out of the ballpark. The ballpark was home to another famous incident, in which Satchel Paige was working on a perfect game through eight innings. In the ninth, after three intentional walks, Paige was so sure of himself that he told his seven fielders to lie down on the field. Paige struck out the side on nine pitches.[5]

Negro League World Series games were often played at neutral game-sites to attract larger crowds. The Cleveland Buckeyes beat the Homestead Grays in game 4 of the 1945 Series at 44th and Parkside. Game 3 of the 1947 Series was also played at the Park in which the Buckeyes faced the New York Cubans.

Amazingly, the ballpark remained sturdy despite a woman named Miss Hattie Williams chopping wood from the grandstand with a hatchet most days. She used the wood as firewood to heat the washtub where she cooked the hot dogs for her concession stand behind home plate.


Across Belmont Avenue from the Memorial Park is the mural “Philadelphia Stars: a tribute to Negro League baseball”. The mural is part of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. It was painted by Philadelphia artist David McShane, and dedicated on September 19, 2006. The mural has been described as an “impressionistic collage of scenes”; McShane consulted with surviving Stars players on their memories of the ballpark before creating the work. The mural was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Philadelphia Green Program, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, and the Business Association of West Parkside (which had also organized the creation of the Memorial Park). Former Stars players Glenn, Gould, Cash, and Duckett attended the dedication, as well as Phillies players Michael BournChris Roberson, and the artist McShane.

Home Grown Hoops Star

by Michael Burch

Local Hoops Star Jai Williams in his Philadelphia Electrical & Technology Charter Basketball Uniform
Local Hoops Star Jai Williams in his Philadelphia Electrical & Technology Charter Basketball Uniform

Each year in this city we have promising young people head off to college and Parkside is no exception. In fact it’s a little special this year as the 4200 block of Viola Street’s own Jai Williams heads off to College.

Jai, is something of a local star with his talented skills in Basketball. Jai Williams was easily one of the best high school basketball players in the city. Williams, is a 6-foot-7, 240 pound recent graduate ofPhiladelphia Electrical & Technology Charter’s basketball team.

He’s a tremendous player who recently made the decision that he’s taking his “game” to the Saint Joseph’s Hawks team. “I feel really good about the decision,” Williams said. “I like Saint Joseph’s The School is not too far from my house. I live in West Philly. I can stay in touch with my family.”

Already spending the summer on Saint Joseph’s campus and experiencing a brief stint overseas in Italy Jai, is well prepared for an outstanding college career. We look forward to seeing the wonderful things the future holds in store for this promising Viola Street graduate. We wish you all the best Jai!!