2,000 turn out for Westmoreland Croquet tourney
With the proclamation, “the ball-busting is under way,” announcer Dave Zilli opened the annual Westmoreland Croquet Club Tournament on June 9 at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.
The whack of wooden mallet on wooden ball echoed across the Ridilla Fields as the fierce but friendly competition ran from morning to afternoon to benefit various nonprofit groups through the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, affiliated with the Pittsburgh Foundation.
The scene harks back to more genteel times, with a crowd approaching 2,000 all in white — ladies in lovely sundresses, young men in shorts and polo shirts with collars popped and even a few of the older gents in white ducks and Panama hats.
The tourney is presented by the Old Joe Club, with this year's major sponsors including Versatech Inc., Bud Smail Motorcars and Pitt-Greensburg.
Keeping an eye on all aspects of the event was tournament founder and club president Ernie Vallozzi, aided by his “right-hand woman” Amy DiCesere.
Among special guests were Miss Teen Pennsylvania Jessica Harper of Blairsville, with mom Cheryl, and national croquet champions Kenster Rosenberry of State College and Bob Kroeger of Cape Cod.
Seen: Rick “The Baron” Versaw with Joyce, Pat DiCesere, Dr. Jack and Georgia Smith, Drs. Yeshvant and Brinda Navalgund, Bonnie Sliwoski, Jordan Pallitto, Molly Schaefer, A.J. Quahliero, Harry and Renee Smail, Mike and Debbie Busch, Patti Buhl, Ron and Susan Ott, Mary Moximchalk, Jean Hacha, Keri Matson, Barbara Ferrier and Jill Briercheck.
Also, Ron and JoAnn Eberhardt, Harris and Janet Ferris, Shayne Soulert, Rob Jessup, Amanda Cochrane, Martin Barbie, Fred and Diane Geisler, Nick Unkovic, Mary Unkovic, Richard Cassidy, Brooke Baldonieri, Tim Davis, Anita O'Brochta, Jason Ament, Angela Keslar, Lisa Aquaviva and Herky Pollack.
— Shirley McMarlin