Playground association completes goal, builds playground

ROSSITER — After many years of trying, the Rossiter Playground Association completed its goal this year of constructing a playground at the Rossiter Ball Field.

Barbara Mack, association secretary, said it might never have happened if not for the help of the late John J. Mizerock Jr. of Punxsutawney.

John Mack, president of the association, said Mizerock donated money and a stone for the historical marker that was placed in Rossiter, and then encouraged the group to construct a playground in the village.

“He founded the Playground Association and encouraged us to not give up our cause of constructing a playground at the ball field,” John said.

The association was founded in 2004 for the purpose of putting rest rooms, a pavilion and a playground on the site of the Rossiter Ball Field.

“State Rep. Sam Smith, who, with the help of Michelle Corbin, came to our aid with a small $6,200 grant, which we used to erect the pavilion,” John said. Shantelle Wasicki also held a golf tournament to help pay for the construction of the picnic tables to complete the pavilion. 

John said until his death, Mizerock continued to help the group attain its goal of a playground at the site.

“The night he died, a group of us from the association went up to thank John for his donation of $1,000 for the playground that he had recently made from the ISDA Club,” John said.

“We then traveled to Mulberry Square, where he was staying due to an illness, to thank him personally,” he said.

Mizerock had been sleeping, so they didn’t wake him. The next day, they received word that during the night, he had passed away.

John said this past year, the group held a number of fund-raisers to construct a small playground at the field.

“We came up with enough money to have a place for the mothers who bring their small children to the ball field during the games and previously had nowhere else to go. Those mothers now all have something for their kids to do,” he said. “We also have a couple of grills installed, and the pavilion is free for anyone who would like to use the facility.”

The playground and pavilion is located on American Legion property, which leases it to the group.

Barbara Mack said the group is having a sign made to be placed in the pavilion, saying it was built in honor of Mizerock.

“A special thanks goes out to Wright Construction, who built the playground tower; Randy Huey Construction, for building the pavilion; Wasicki Brothers, for their cement work; Bill Setree, for the electrical work; and Martin Yoder, Mike Wasicki  and Paul Prutznal for their backhoe work,” Barbara said, adding that all work was done by Rossiter area residents which makes it all even more special. A special thanks was also extended to “Bubba” for his work.    

Members of the Playground Association include John Mack, president; Bob Berringer, vice-presient; Jayne Shaffer, treasurer; Barbara Mack, secretary;  Bob Deahl, trustee; and Carl Vendetta, trustee.