We are a non-profit community service organization dedicated to serving the youth of Amherst NY through fundraising.
The History of the Jolly Boys, Part 2:
The following are the thoughts of Bruno Yetto. Not one of the original 3, but another exceptional Jolly Boy.
Originally formed to support the Saint Peter and Paul Color Guard, in its efforts to acquire funds to send them to their "National Convention".
The early days were the carnival in Island Park consisting of Indian Poker, Fish Bowl, Penny Pitch, Bowling Pin Game, and Indian dice. Proceeds one year amounted to sixty-seven dollars. Bob Green was the official photographer. Charlie Klafka was the M.C. for the awards of the parade and continued his performance for many years in the beer tent. Original eighteen members included two women - Carol Klafka and Maria Gaulin. Carol Klafka and Frank Mischler were instructors of the Color Guard and Drill Team. Father Steinbach was our spiritual advisor, which we had some meetings at his summer home on Java Lake. Our original target was only for the after completion of our convention, we all agreed to continue our support for another year.
Some of the wives' nicknamed us the "Jolly Boys" because we seemed to be enjoying ourselves. The name stuck.
The following year we expanded our carnival and we included a food tent with hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, and French fries. We had a deep fryer we rented from a hotel supply firm on Broadway in Buffalo. Bruno was in charge of the food tent. We used a refrigerated truck from Will Poultry to keep our supplies fresh and frozen. We originally intended to give vouchers to our members and families for food. However, we ended up giving vouchers to everyone working in all the other venues, and, naturally we lost our shirts.
In the fall, we hired a bus to take us to one of the Bills games at Rich Stadium. Bob Rost supplied whiskey sours and Manhattans on the ride there. Bruno brought Chili for our first tailgate party. Jan Mellen brought chili for the second trip. Bruno had Italian sausage, peppers and onions on the next trip. Then after that, we started to have steak sandwiches at the rest of games. We would go to two games; one stag, and one with the wives. One year, our bus broke down on Abbott road and we had to wait for a replacement bus.
In the early stages, the new members would host a house party after our Old Home Days. Bruno would always get the steaks. The Sunday after Old Home Days, we would have a breakfast at Island Park, consisting of eggs, Canadian bacon, sweet rolls, coffee, and, Bob Rost's famous drink. In later years, George and Corrine would host the breakfast, and then, Paul and Linda would do the same. Linda would make the best eggs and bacon, and, Paul would make a heck of a bloody Mary.
Other activities over the years. Dances in Saint Peter & Paul's gym with Johnny LoVecchio's band. Monte Carlo night in same gym with donations from various sources was very successful. John Hauser acquired so many steel toe shoes that kept us in supply for several years. We had a Las Vegas night at the races: didn't work out. We had a casino type gambling night outside, in front of the school.
The scholarships awards were started by Bob Rost. We ran the premium beer tent when Hutchinson House ran the large beer tent. We sold three halves of beer and we thought it was a good night. We would have amateur entertainment on a portable stage in the premium beer tent. We tried on Oktoberfest at ECC north and it fizzled out. Our third carnival had a "Great Fireworks display on Friday night. A fireman's convention in Westfield prevented Hutchinson Hose from running the beer tent one year. We were asked to incorporate our carnival with Old Home Days and run the beer tent. Roth entertainment had the amusement rides and Capone from Akron was our beer distributor, serving Iroquois and Koch's. For a couple years, we carried a premium beer, (Old Vienna), as well as regular beer. Bob Rost started using the sixty-four ounce growlers. It was very successful. Jean Gaulin and George Measer wore lederhosen for our parade and back in the beer tent. Barroom Buzzards, the Auslander’s, and the Gettyville German Band featuring Broom Hilda were mainstays for years in the beer tent. Older people would bring folding chairs and sit around hear the oom pah pah of Broom Hilda. Faith Bassanello led us in singing at our annual party after Old Home Days. Our wives were called Gay Gals in the beginning, until it became synonymous with a lifestyle.