MAKING LANCASTER BETTER!Posted on October 23rd, 2012 3 comments
[Editor's Note: Good news this afternoon! I was alerted to this by a friend. No one is more deserving than Dave Porter! Thank you for all you do! Click here for the Tornado Alley Hoops website!]
COMMUNITY YOUTH SUPPORTER DAVE PORTER RECEIVES THE 2012 SUSAN J. GAROFOLA AWARD
Established in 2002, The Susan J. Garofola Service Award is presented annually by the McCaskey Alumni Association to a person of our community who has distinguished him or herself by outstanding service to McCaskey High School or to the McCaskey Alumni Association.
This year’s award is being presented to an alumnus of McCaskey High School who graduated with the Class of 1974 – Dave Porter.
As an avid supporter of Red Tornado boys’ basketball, fans can find this man at just about every McCaskey basketball game with a camera to his eye and his finger on the shutter.
However, many young athletes in Southwest Lancaster know him as a mentor and friend who literally transformed his backyard into a safe haven for them.
With child delinquency problems and area crime on the rise, on April 1, 2003, “Tornado Alley” was born. Out of love for the kids and for the game of basketball, Dave invested approximately $4,000 of his own money to construct a first-class, half-court basketball facility behind his home. The court is open after school and closes promptly at 9:00 pm and is available to kids from age 7 to 20.
Dave readily admits that he had another reason to pour his heart and money into the backyard half-court. He hopes to produce outstanding basketball players who will eventually bring home a State championship to McCaskey High School! He stated, “You have to start the kids early.”
City kids need a place that provides an opportunity to learn the game and to hone their skills. Tornado Alley is a place where kids can dream, escape the boredom of having nothing to do, or enjoy the camaraderie that comes with belonging to something that matters. “Basketball means everything to these kids,” Dave explains. “They just want to play basketball.”
The kids are always supervised. If not on the court encouraging the youngsters to work hard, he monitors the court activity from inside his home with video cameras that look down on the court.
As a result of “Tornado Alley” and its positive effect on the kids, Dave was recruited by City officials to attack problems of juvenile delinquency by serving on several committees including one to improve Rodney and Crystal Parks. He was a recipient of the Weed + Seed Youth Service Award as well as the Jefferson Award for Public Service. He was also named to Lancaster County Magazine’s “Top 10 List of Community-Minded Lancastrians.”
And, of course, there is that “camera” thing. Dave not only shoots the McCaskey boys basketball teams but also other SDOL elementary, middle school, and high school campus sports and cheerleading. If you visit his website, tornadoalleyhoops.com, you will find thousands of photos of Tornado Alley and SDOL activities, including the Prom!
According to SDOL Athletic Director Jon Mitchell, Dave travels to virtually all away varsity football and basketball games. He provides coaches and players with posters, with team pictures that are used for District 3/PIAA programs, with team pictures for booster club souvenir programs, and with photos that are used on the athletic schedule posters.
He also graciously volunteers his time to the McCaskey Alumni Association for its Alumni Basketball Game and the Distinguished Alumni Assembly and Banquet. In fact, he is here with us this evening with his camera and, once again, volunteering his services.
For all these wonderful examples of community service, it now gives me pleasure to present the 2012 Susan J. Garofola Service Award to …. Dave Porter.
3 responses to “MAKING LANCASTER BETTER!”
All around good guy. Congrats Dave!
Miranda October 23rd, 2012 at 21:33
The true humanitarian! Like one kid said on Facebook: “you should have received 20 awards by now!” Congratulations!!!!
We need so many more like him! Absolutely great guy!