A reactivated Coaldale CHOSE (Church, Home, Organization, School, Environment) is back working to provide recreation and just plain "something to do" for the borough's youngsters.
CHOSE was reactivated about a year ago after Matthew Matula, the 11-year- old son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Matula, attended a council meeting with a petition asking council to provide something for the children of the community.
A public meeting was held with council's support and chaired by Mayor Theodore Bortnick. From this meeting the CHOSE recreation group was reactivated.
The organization had been inactive for several years, but still had maintained its charter. The three remaining members became members of the board of directors. They are Mary Miller, Anna Taras, and Joseph "Chappy" Sharpe, who was the founder of CHOSE in 1958 when he served as mayor.
Mayor Bortnick was elected president of the reactivated group. Other officers are Joseph Hnat, vice president; Nancy Pascoe, secretary, and Susan Matula, secretary-treasurer. Other members of the board of directors are Ann Marie Stoffey, Margaret Sullivan, Robert Gelatko, Carol Pajakinas, and James Arner, with Matthew and John Yurchak as youth representatives.
The group has held fund-raising activities over the past year, and also received a $2,000 allocation from council, marking the first time in several years that funds were alloted for recreational purposes.
New swings, a slide, and two spring-mounted "Bouncy Critters" were added to the recreation plot at the Coaldale Complex, and the basketball courts were refinished. The Panther Valley School District contributed a merry-go round to the play equipment.
Work is also under way on the Seek playground with swings, a slide, a Bouncy Critter and a basketball court to be added.
Boys and girls can be seen each day on the equipment at the Complex field, with the basketball court getting a large share of pickup games.
CHOSE did not wait for spring to start activities. There were Sunday night recreational activities at the Complex with the help of the Complex Commission. Plans are being made to continue these Sunday activities this year.
Several dances were held for the youth of the Panther Valley area and a free concert was held recently on the Complex field.
While the dances did not do well financially, the CHOSE directors felt they were worth the cost, because the boys and girls seemed to enjoy themselves, and more dances are being planned for the fall. The directors are also considering some activities for the younger children.
A door-to-door canvass of the borough will be held beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday with the youngsters taking part in the drive to help CHOSE realize some of its future goals, which include: the purchase of additional equipment for both play areas, re-work the baseball field at the complex and add a new backstop, redo the infield and add a running track.
The officers also would like to see at least one parent from every family with children become involved in some way with CHOSE.
Parents can pledge their support by attending meetings at 6:30 p.m. the third Monday of the month in the borough building, or by telephoning any of the officers or directors.