John A. DiVirgilio Dedication Speech
Thank you, Brian and Mr. Christner for your kind words.
First of all, I would like to thank and welcome you all to this great celebration. A special thank you and love to my dear wife and family for thier many years of support. Also, thanks for the support of my brothers and sisters and their mates who took the time to be with us today.
Today is not only about Johnny D. It's about dedicated people! The Recreation Board, whom I have worked with throughout the years. Surprisingly, the current Recreation Board has a combined total of 148 years of service to our fine community of Rostraver Township. All who live in this community should be very proud of each and every individual who has given so unselfishly of their time at no expense to the township. We have always received great co-operation from the past and present elected five Township Commissioners; supervisor Tom Backstrom and crew of 12 of the Road Department, Craig, Mechanic; the Police Department led by Chief Greg Resetar; the Planning and Zoning Commission; the Sewage Department with Secretary, Eileen; Tax Collector, Elaine Nusser, and assistant, Helen; Vanessa, Finance Secretary; the Civil Service Commission and all other commissions, which have become very important to this wonderful community. Darlene, Loretta, Mary Sue, the office staff; Police Secretaries, June Beveridge and Janet Lario. Also, last but not least, Custodians, Robert Dickie III and Marlene. All, a great bunch of people!!!! I'd especially, like to thank Mr. George Martin and staff of Martin's Nursery for the beautiful plantings around the stone and flagpole at the Sports Complex.
Rostraver is fortunate to have so many volunteers in the commissions who serve without any monetary compensation. These selfless individuals help to make Rostraver Township second to none.
I was born of immigrant parents from Italy, who came to America in hopes of a better and more prosperous life. They and their four sons and three daughters made it through the depression by sheer determination, knowing that if you try hard enough and work hard enough, with God's help, you CAN make your dreams come true. They instilled in us not only the desire to succeed in whatever we try, but more important, treat everyone with love and respect, as we would like to be treated ourselves. Mom would always say, "You have been given two hands by God ..... one to give with, and one to receive with. But the one you give with is the BEST and most important". Mom is more than half way through her 97th year. Dad died in 1990.
The Rostraver Township Recreation Board does not discriminate. Everyone (youngster) is treated the same .... nationality, color of your skin, religious belief or physical handicap .... All are treated on the same level of the playing field.
We serve because we all have the ability to do something. We all have our talents!! Although they may all be different, when blended together with others, each and everyone of us can accomplish so much.
A lot of times I am asked why I give so much of my time without pay, I just say, "Looking around and seeing a youngster's smiling face is more than enough pay. Money can't buy that!" I have touched and been touched by many youths in my forty plus years in Rostraver, and have never, nor will I ever regret any single day of those years or what I have done in the life of any youth on any one of those days!
I like to think of myself as a motivator. And NO is not part of my vocabulary.
Sometimes we're lazy! Sometimes we're afraid! Sometimes, we're not sure about the changes we know will come if we do, indeed, decide to do the work that turns a negative in our lives into a positve. Too often, we look at all the mistakes we've made and spend useless time in second guessing ourselves. Or course, we are subject to criticism in some cases. But most of us know right from wrong. Just keep everyone on the same level of the playing field. NO ONE higher than another.
We must all remember in order to fulfill our dreams, we must take responsibility for our own lives here on earth. Our thoughts, our words, play a large part of our own existence; being productive and taking responsibility is a major part of life. We all have our own pace. Awareness comes slowly and is different in each individual. No magic wand will change you into something or someone you are not. We all go through experiences, hoping to become a more loving and caring person.
On my own journey through life, I've learned that I'm no different than anyone else. I've learned the Law of Cause and Effect ..... and that works for me.
I remember the days when the late Robert E. Sokol, Mr. Henry Indof, Sr. and the late Henry Indof, Jr. and I made many trips to Greensburg Parks and Recreation Department to make a better place in our Township for recreation. We sort of beat the doors down, so to speak. Mr. Indof, Sr., Mr. Sokol, Sr., Henry Indof, Jr. and I started and finished the first ballfield in what is now know as Cedar Creek Park. In a jointure with Rostraver and Westmoreland County Park. We then completed additional ballfields throughout the park.
So you can see, I live my life accordingly. And if it works for me, it will work for you. We all can help those less fortunate than us. It's important to acknowledge mistakes in our lives; those made by others that affected us; and those we make ourselves. Yet at some point in time, we let it go; drop resentments, extend a hand in forgiveness and move on with our lives. Letting the past swallow up the future is an awful burden and a waste of time.
I marvel at a scuptor who can take a glob of clay, mold it with his hands into a work of art. A child and his/her mind are like that. We, as adults in a child's life, can take that child and mold him or her into human work of art, and like jello, you have to put a lot of the right ingredients in it before it sets.
In closing, I want to thank all of you for coming; for supporting me while this great honor is bestowed upon me today. And, again, I want to give proper recognition and thank the late R.E. Sokol, a truly good Friend for having the confidence in me; by making a place on the Recreation Board those many years ago and asking me to return when my term had expired, time and again, giving me a chance to serve my community, Rostraver Township, which I have grown to love more every year. I tried to serve with dignity and honor, as I did my country in World War II and in Korea.
THANK YOU ROSTRAVER TOWNSHIP!!!!!!!!!