Carnegie Boys & Girls Club pillar ready for retirement
By Doug Gulasy
Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Lou Trombetta heard the saying that he would know when it came time to retire.
For him, the moment arrived two years ago — but he continued working anyway.
“I fought it until now,” said Trombetta, the assistant executive director at the Carnegie Boys & Girls Club. “With the aches and pains of old age, a little bit of a bad back (and) grandkids, this is the right time for me.”
Trombetta, 63, will retire May 1 after 28 years working at various Boys & Girls clubs in the Pittsburgh area, including the past 13 at the Carnegie location on Washington Avenue. No replacement has been chosen.
But his time with the Carnegie club goes back further. He became a member of what was then the Carnegie Boys Club in 1955 at age 5, and stayed until he was 18.. He then volunteered at the club in the 1960s as an assistant camp director.
Trombetta was hired full time at the Carnegie club after he was laid off from a job in the trucking industry in 1985. When Carnegie merged with the Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania six months later, Trombetta was transferred to the Shadyside, Sto-Ken-Rox, Wilkinsburg, Lawrenceville and Northern Area clubs before returning to Carnegie in November 2000.
“I thought, ‘I'll do it a couple years,'” he said. “This is 28 years later.”
Trombetta's impact at the Boys & Girls Club is felt most notably in the athletic program. When he arrived, 80 children were enrolled in an indoor soccer program and 50 were in a basketball program.
Now, the club boasts 234 children in a flag football program, 224 in floor hockey, 218 in basketball and 42 in golf.
“That draws children not only from Carnegie but from the surrounding areas to our club, which is good,” said Carnegie police Chief Jeff Harbin, who grew up with Trombetta on Seventh Avenue.
“Any time you can keep the kids physically active, that's certainly important, too. “In no uncertain terms, that was Lou's club up there,” Harbin said.
Trombetta also helps run the club's nine-week summer camp program, which has 100 children.
All told, the club has 600 to 800 members at any given time. Between 120 and 150 attend per day, either for the after-school program or evening activities.
Trombetta said the club is a place for children to learn values and get real-world experience in leadership and other important areas.
“You kind of know what school's doing and how they're helping the kids,” he said. “You want to pick up those other parts that you still feel is important to normal growth and expose them to it in the healthiest way possible.”
While a select few people have known about his impending retirement, the knowledge hasn't been “public public,” he said.
Dallas Trombetta, his youngest daughter, said the news came as a surprise to the family. “I think to myself that he would have to be forced into part time there because it's so much a part of him,” she said.
“I know my son was in tears. I didn't tell my son — he overheard it, and I had to explain it to him.”
Trombetta doesn't know whether he'll maintain a part-time presence at the club, but said now is the right time for him to give up the full-time job.
“The best way is to just make the cut,” he said.
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Heidelberg project nears completion
- Carnegie youth going to the dogs with his Eagle Scout project
- No make-up snow days needed for Chartiers Valley schools
- Two local photographers cover all the age groups
- Work to shut down span between Carnegie, Scott for six months
- Township residents call foul on wayward fowl in Scott Park
- Kotik: Protecting PACE/PACENET eligibility for senior citizens
- Carnegie’s Savoyards to usher in new season