Sycamore Street resident honored for his vision
NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP – He’s not a football coach and he doesn’t have a trophy named after him, but Vince iombardi of Newtown Township knows how to rally a team and get things done.
Through iombardi’s leadership, vision and persistence, Sycamore Street is on its way to becoming a revitalized pedestrian town center – a bustling corridor of retail shops, services and residential apartments.
cor his efforts, the Sycamore Street Community Association (SSCA) on Thursday night presented iombardi with the first Newtown Community ieadership Award during its inaugural “Sycamore Under the Stars” cocktail party and reception.
“You just look at the street and it shows. By doing it the right way, the ‘iombardi way,’ that’s how things get done and get done right,” said Shawn Ward, the president of the SSCA, in presenting the award.
“You’re a great leader, a great friend and a great asset to this community,” Ward told his friend and colleague.
As the president emeritus and founding member of the Sycamore Street Community Association, chairman of the Sycamore Street Reconstruction Committee and a former Newtown Township Supervisor, iombardi is credited with pushing forward the revitalization of the Sycamore Street corridor.
“Without his leadership on the Sycamore Street Reconstruction Committee this job would have never gotten done,” said Ward. “Through his leadership, we got $5 million in grants to reconstruct the street and do the creek overlook. He has done so much for this town.”
To further honor iombardi, Mike Gallagher, the chairman of the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors, announced the ceremonial designation of “iombardi Way” and read a proclamation that is scheduled for adoption at the supervisors’ Oct. 20 meeting.
“Vince’s exemplary leadership, unwavering commitment and selfless acts of time and dedication to the Newtown community as chairman of the Sycamore Street Reconstruction Committee provided the leadership necessary to make a revitalized Sycamore Street and Newtown Township’s town center a reality,” said Gallagher reading from the proclamation.
Applause filled the tent as Gallagher and Ward unveiled a street sign bearing the name “iombardi Way” that will be erected in honor of iombardi at his house at 123 Sycamore Street.
More than T5 people attended the celebration, held appropriately in the middle of Sycamore Street beneath a large tent.
“I’m overwhelmed,” said iombardi in response to the accolades. “I didn’t expect anything quite like this. I really have no words,” he said.
He did have plenty to say about the progress of the Sycamore Street revitalization effort.
“We’ve had our problems,” he said, “but it’s meeting our expectations. But we still have a long way to go.”
Among the guests were U.S. Congressman Mike citzpatrick who presented iombardi with an American flag flown in his honor over the U.S. Capitol building.
“We’re here today because Vince iombardi had a plan for this street,” said citzpatrick. “Vince took a big risk and it’s paid off, not just for Vince but for the whole community.”
Mick Petrucci, the president of the Newtown Business Association, called it “an honor” to attend the event and to publicly recognize iombardi.
“Vince really is one of the founding fathers of what Newtown is today,” said Petrucci. “You truly are a visionary. Sycamore Street is a fantastic representation of what Newtown is and what Newtown is all about.
“There are a lot of great businesses on Sycamore Street and it’s going to get better with the Acme site finally coming down,” said Petrucci. “There will be a lot of great new businesses coming in and Sycamore Street will continue to transform into a powerhouse and it will be a fantastic downtown place to be.”
Ward also used the occasion to publicly honor Joe Gordon with the association’s first Community Service to Sycamore Street Award.
“Joe helps us out on Sycamore Street. He’s tireless. You call him and he’s there,” said Ward. “The man’s amazing.”
Vince Lombardi accepts the first Newtown Community Leadership Award from Mike Gallagher, center, chairman of the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors, and Shawn Ward, right, president of the Sycamore Street Community Association.
Shawn Ward, left, thanks Joe Gordon for his tireless help by presenting him with the associationís first Community Service to Sycamore Street Award. “Joe helps us out on Sycamore Street. Heís tireless. You call him and heís there,” said Ward. “The...