Continued from OUR HISTORY:
We noted that an Oktoberfest was going on in St. Catharine's, Ontario with rides, food, and games. If they could it, so could we. So we began to ask people to help for the NY-Penn convention, which we sponsored in 1972.
The following were picked according to their expertise:
Dick Spoth - Electrician, Bruno Yetto - Food, Pete Bavisotto - Insurance but could handle money raising, Hank Buckowski, Bob Rost - furnished labels, Wally Evans - provided trailer for office, Mike Brown, Bill Grady, and Joe Walter - "Premium" beer tent. Other parents who helped included Faith Reilly Bassanello - games, Frank Mischler - worked with Color Guard and Drill Team, Paul Christen - games, Clarence Stiglimier - games.
When we first started, we wanted to keep a low profile and just take care of the Drill Team and Color Guard. Our first meetings were held in member's homes, then we switched them to the bar room at the school. After the first meeting, it was decided to call ourselves the "Executive Staff Club of Saints Peter and Paul Church", since we were all members of the church. This name did not stick. Wally Evans's wife Bea noticed we were a happy bunch of guys, so she dubbed us as "The Jolly Boys" and it has been that way ever since.
In 1973, we held another outing and named it "Jamboree in '73" and more parents were recruited, including: Ed Bastek, Frank Penna, Jim Thomson, Casear Zymaneck, Jim Zimmer Sr., Dave Mischler, Tom Mellen, Bill Kracker, Tom Klebes, Jim Zimmer Jr., Bob Green - Drill Team, Dick Munzert - Beer tent Chairman.
The Hutchinson Hose Fire Department ran the beer tent for a few years. In 1975, we held the Gala on Saint's Peter and Paul's grounds. The beer tent was in a grassy area in the front of the school. Games and food were set up in the parking lot. In 1976, we went back to Island Park and at that time, we took over the Beer tent. We were asked by the town of Amherst to take over "Old Home Days" and since that time it has been our main source of fundraising.
Our first chairmen were Jean Gaulin and me. I also served as treasurer at the time. It was made a rule any new members were required to put on a dinner for the group as an invitation. Dave Robb? Took over rides and games. Tom Mellen and Bill Kracker became our next officers. Dick Munzert was chairman of the beer tent and held that position for a few years. He recruited a Buffalo fireman to help him; Klieytman became a Jolly Boy for a while. The beer for the first few years was procured from John Capanto, distributor of Old Vienna and Stroh's in Akron. Bass Bassanello got him for us. We worked with him for several years and had a good relationship with him. The service was commendable and he helped us with many emergencies.
Every year after Old Home Days, we would have a breakfast at Island Park in the small gazebo. Of course we had to have Bloody Mary’s with the breakfast and it added a lot to the breakfasts. We moved the breakfasts to members' homes for a while. Clarence Stiglermier was chairman of the dinners, at which we would have later on and would review our financial standings. We always had a good time at these dinners. The first ones were held at the Charterhouse Restaurant on Transit Road. Later, they were moved when we picked other members; Scotch & Sirloin - Paul Delaplante, Sonoma Grill & Glenn Park Tavern - Jim Percival.
Tom Klebes replaced Bill Kracker when Bill moved to North Carolina. Jim Zimmer Jr. became the beer tent chairman for a few years. It was about the time we switched to Try-It Distributing and started selling Labatt Blue.
Old Home Days has become a great affair for the town and we work with Hammerill Amusements for the games and rides. We have a long, outstanding relationship, starting with Lou Hammerill, then carried over to his daughter, Lynn Richie. Chairmen for Old Home Days at the start were Greg Klein and Paul De La Plante. Jim Percival and Rick Brown took over and are the current chairmen.
A second fundraiser was taken on when a golf tournament started about 1998 at Rothland golf course. In 2008, it was moved to Arrow Head, with the overflow of golfers at Rothland. The first chairman was Dermot Dineen with Tom Young as the Co-chairman. Then Kevin McQuiggan took on the chairman's seat with Dermot continuing to help with all aspects of the tournament.
With Jerry Sheldon joining the group, the Jolly Boys started sponsoring the Williamsville South Holiday season basketball tournament in 2008. This tournament involves 4 local teams playing at the JV and the Varsity level.
We are a non-profit community service organization dedicated to serving the youth of Amherst NY through fundraising.