What started as a Facebook page to bring together some of Rockland County’s former athletes has exploded into a time machine of memories through the decades. Now, “Rockland’s Greatest” is doing its part to honor the county’s accomplishments three-dimensionally.
Spring Valley alumnus Andre Chiavelli, who started and operates the popular page, has spearheaded the revival of both the Rockland County Softball Hall of Fame and Spring Valley Hall of Fame, which will take place Oct. 16 and 17, respectively.
“It’s going to be two great, great nights and a lot of Rockland history will be in both of them,” Chiavelli said.
The Rockland County Softball Hall of Fame event will be held at Pasta Cucina in Suffern at 6 p.m. and will honor Ronnie Jacaruso, Bobby Aloi, Donna Vasso and J.J. and Claude Bellando. It will be the first induction since the mid-1990s.
The Spring Valley Hall of Fame, which will hold its event held at the Crowne Plaza in Suffern at 6 p.m., plans to induct Willie Worsley (coach), Phil Bogle (football), Thomas Rowe (baseball), David Noriega (baseball), Kristin Randhere (swimming/softball), Jodi Bellando-Campos (softball), Chiavelli (football/baseball) and Paul Shapiro (coach).
Rick Cable and Stu Smeltz will be inducted posthumously.
It’s been nearly 30 years since Spring Valley’s last induction.
Chiavelli said the events were put together in five-to-six weeks, including inductees, host sites and sponsors. Each event is expected to draw more than 100 people.
Chiavelli said he plans to bring back the inductions as an annual event and will plan next year’s festivities during a breakfast Sunday, Oct. 18. Rockland Community College is the early frontrunner to host in 2016, according to Chiavelli.