84th Annual Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta Program Book

While the o cials and volunteers of the Dad Vail Regatta will continue to get their lunches delivered to their working locations, it will be a little less nourishing and not as ful lling to many. Something will be missing from the menu this year. e bright, happy, welcoming smile of Lou Backe. We lost Lou far too early this past year and his presence at the Dad Vail will be sorrowfully missed. Lou began volunteering at the Vail’s with his father Henry Backe almost forty years ago, helping with the catered lunches initially served on Boathouse Row. As the sport or rowing grew and more athletes and schools sought to compete at the Dad Vail, the schedule would not allow for o cials to get to Boathouse Row for As the Dad Vail’s continued to grow and attract corporate interest, Lou was instrumental in coordinating e orts with Wawa and Coke who provided plentiful products for the Regatta. Lou would wait at the Schuylkill River to meet their delivery trucks at 4:00 AM with cheer It is no surprise that Lou’s passion was cooking an people happy by preparing and serving great mea For twenty-six years Harry Stinger was the Press o cer of the Dad Vail Regatta. He brought the Regatta to national recognition through TV, radio, newspaper, sports magazines and the internet. In his early days, Harry would assemble an elaborate press kit, for each member of the Press, on his dining room table and then hand deliver it to many suburban news personnel just days before the race. His RV was a legend, parked under a huge tree near the grandstand with telephone and electric lines hooked up and dangling from the tree. Harry it was often on his bicycle, riding back and forth from the nish line to the RV to record the latest race results on the poster board outside the RV for all to see. With advances in communications, reporters and o cials found Harry in his element, the "Press Tent" with computers and iPhones, iPads, Wi-Fi etc. One thing never changed through the years-Harry was a perpetual friend, teacher, mentor to all the members of the media. Always accompanied by his wife, Mary and his large devoted family, they worked the Press tent with ease and skillful knowledge guided by Harry's warm smile and caring personality. On his retirement in 2013, M Enquirer Sports columnist wrote: "Known meticulous news releases and indefatigabl all things media, Stinger said his memory favorite memory of the Regatta was its quote 'colorful characters.' He was certainly one of them." For twenty-six years he planned and directed the regatta's annual publicity and marketing campaign for broadcast media, served as th spokesman and managed the media tent. K many as the "Voice of the Dad Vail", Har major role in transforming the Regatta fro weekend college races on the Schuylkill int collegiate rowing event in North America. greatly missed. AMDG When Dad Vail volunteers commit themselves to the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta, they have chosen to give their precious and limited time to support the sport of rowing and the memory of Dad Vail. The gold jacket Dad Vail volunteers have made the largest of all national crew races possible since 1934. Their commitment and support are greatly appreciated. As one of our ranks crosses his own personal finish line, we take a moment to celebrate and thank these quiet heroes. And so we salute our fallen comrades and offer this final toast. A FINALTTooast 1966 – Jack Bratton 1968 – John Carlin 1985 – John B Kelly Jr 1986 – Brenden Lynch 1994 – Thomas Loschiavo 1996 – Ken Corkery 1998 – Eugene Pelszynski 2001 – Ralph Lindamood 2002 – Lou Sonzongi 2003 – Jo Tola d 2004 – James Conboy 2005 – Jim Wagner 2005 – Matt Ledwith 2007 – Andrew Stinger 2009 – John Semanik 2012 – Jack Bratton 2014 – Toby Wallace 2015 – David Loschiavo 2016 – Micheline McGrath 2016 – Louis Backe 2016 – Harry Stinger 2016 – Bill Stowe 2016 – Thomas Owston 2017 – F k McCloskey 2017 – Lou McCormick 2018 – John Hooten Jr. 2019 – Larry Tolle 2020 – J seph A. Sweeney 2020 – Dave McCormick 2021 – Stephen Gallagher 2021 – Jim Kelly 2021 – Tom Dowd 2022 – Bunny Backe 2022 – Thomas J. Reynolds 2022 – Paul Laskow 2023 – Joann Jugl r