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Penn College Again Welcomes ‘World’ to Williamsport


Penn College put out the Wildcat welcome mat Wednesday for visitors to the Little League Baseball World Series, the 66th edition of which begins Thursday and concludes with the Aug. 26 championship game in nearby South Williamsport. The college hosted its fourth annual campus cookout for the 16 Series teams, providing them a breather before one of the most-watched and beloved sporting events begins in earnest. After alfresco dining near the Victorian House, the players – joined by coaches, team “uncles” from the local community, umpires and Little League officials – were led to a cross-campus staging area for the Grand Slam Parade to downtown Williamsport. Maintaining the college’s perennial presence in the procession, President Davie Jane Gilmour (chair-elect of the Little League International board of directors), students and employees handed out “Go to Work, Cat!” playing cards, coloring books, pins and wristbands that evoke the hands-on nature of the college’s academic majors. Rain ultimately fell on the parade, but failed to douse the excitement surrounding one of late summer’s signature events.

– Photos by Larry D. Kauffman, digital publishing specialist; Jennifer A. Cline, writer/editor-One College Avenue; and Tom Wilson, writer/editor-PCToday

Tina M. Miller, marketing communications manager, goes over assignments with cookout/parade participants.
Tina M. Miller, marketing communications manager, goes over assignments with cookout/parade participants.

Members of President's Council were among those greeting teams on their arrival at Penn College.
Members of President’s Council were among those greeting teams on their arrival at Penn College.

Japanese players move through the food tent, where picnic fare was served up by the college's School of Hospitality.
Japanese players move through the food tent, where picnic fare was served up by the college’s School of Hospitality.

Hamburger or hot dog? Why not both!
Hamburger or hot dog? Why not both!

The Midwest team arrives at the preparade cookout.
The Midwest team arrives at the preparade cookout.

President Gilmour welcomes Canada's entry in this year's Series.
President Gilmour welcomes Canada’s entry in this year’s Series.

The Penn College Wildcat "paw-bumps" a member of the Northwest squad.
The Penn College Wildcat “paw-bumps” a member of the Northwest squad.

Writer/video editor Tom Speicher, radio's "Man in the Crowd" during the Series and a veteran contributor to WVIA-TV's parade coverage, logs one of the many interviews he'll do before the 10-day tournament comes to a close.
Writer/video editor Tom Speicher, radio’s “Man in the Crowd” during the Series and a veteran contributor to WVIA-TV’s parade coverage, logs one of the many interviews he’ll do before the 10-day tournament comes to a close.

Student Melissa Lake gets acquainted with the Midwest team.
Student Melissa Lake gets acquainted with the Midwest team.

In the international language of good humor, the Wildcat dons a borrowed Latin American ball cap.
In the international language of good humor, the Wildcat dons a borrowed Latin American ball cap.

Passing the time between picnicking and parading, New England players amuse themselves with a deck of Wildcat cards.
Passing the time between picnicking and parading, New England players amuse themselves with a deck of Wildcat cards.

Putting on his "game face"
Putting on his “game face”

As the president addresses the teams, student volunteers prepare to distribute the college's commemorative World Series pins.
As the president addresses the teams, student volunteers prepare to distribute the college’s commemorative World Series pins.

An MEA player offers a welcoming smile of his own.
An MEA player offers a welcoming smile of his own.

Hall of Famer Wade Boggs tells Series teams to "play hard, enjoy the game and don't leave anything on the field."
Hall of Famer Wade Boggs tells Series teams to “play hard, enjoy the game and don’t leave anything on the field.”

Wade Boggs shows off his Hall of Fame ring and his World Series ring (won with the New York Yankees in 1996).
Wade Boggs shows off his Hall of Fame ring and his World Series ring (won with the New York Yankees in 1996).

Penn College students graciously entertained countless photo requests from enthralled ballplayers.
Penn College students graciously entertained countless photo requests from enthralled ballplayers.

The Mid-Atlantic team signs Caroline Hawkins' T-shirt, as her mother (Bambi, learning laboratory coordinator for the paramedic program) snaps a picture.
The Mid-Atlantic team signs Caroline Hawkins’ T-shirt, as her mother (Bambi, learning laboratory coordinator for the paramedic program) snaps a picture.

Congeniality, even in contention
Congeniality, even in contention

Dreaming of a Series championship
Dreaming of a Series championship

The Caribbean team watches the 2011 Series finale.
The Caribbean team watches the 2011 Series finale.

The fresh face of hope
The fresh face of hope

Sizing up the competition
Sizing up the competition

The Southeast team receives a high-five "Hello."
The Southeast team receives a high-five “Hello.”

On the eve of "Play ball," umpires enjoy cookout cuisine.
On the eve of “Play ball,” umpires enjoy cookout cuisine.

Getting acquainted
Getting acquainted

President Gilmour welcomes teams to campus, wishing them luck in the global spotlight.
President Gilmour welcomes teams to campus, wishing them luck in the global spotlight.

Brad Horn, senior director of communications and education for the Baseball Hall of Fame, discusses four attributes of champions: fitness, nutrition, character and fair play.
Brad Horn, senior director of communications and education for the Baseball Hall of Fame, discusses four attributes of champions: fitness, nutrition, character and fair play.

Hall-of-Fame third baseman Wade Boggs with Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour
Hall-of-Fame third baseman Wade Boggs with Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour

A very accessible mascot poses with yet another team.
A very accessible mascot poses with yet another team.

Last year's title game helps divert attention from the rumble of thunder.
Last year’s title game helps divert attention from the rumble of thunder.

"We're gonna need a bigger hill."
“We’re gonna need a bigger hill.”

Signatures from the Canadian team fill the back of Rachel Heller's shirt.
Signatures from the Canadian team fill the back of Rachel Heller’s shirt.

Up close and personal with the Wildcat
Up close and personal with the Wildcat

Swapping pregame secrets
Swapping pregame secrets

European players watch a replay of last year's championship game.
European players watch a replay of last year’s championship game.

The Northwest team makes its way toward the parade route.
The Northwest team makes its way toward the parade route.

There’s no mistaking fans of the Mexico team en route to the parade.
There’s no mistaking fans of the Mexico team en route to the parade.

“What Does the Wildcat Want to Be When it Grows Up?” coloring books make an impression as they’re handed out along the parade route.
“What Does the Wildcat Want to Be When it Grows Up?” coloring books make an impression as they’re handed out along the parade route.

Atop the float, Community Assistants Whitnie-rae Mays and Katie Wylezik offer a friendly welcome to Williamsport.
Atop the float, Community Assistants Whitnie-rae Mays and Katie Wylezik offer a friendly welcome to Williamsport.

An off-campus student finds a good vantage point to watch the parade along Fourth Street.
An off-campus student finds a good vantage point to watch the parade along Fourth Street.

Emma Luke joins her father, Don, facilities supervisor, in the truck pulling the Penn College float.
Emma Luke joins her father, Don, facilities supervisor, in the truck pulling the Penn College float.

The Wildcat distributes playing cards bearing its likeness.
The Wildcat distributes playing cards bearing its likeness.

Women’s volleyball coach Bambi Hawkins, along with her team, distributes giveaways.
Women’s volleyball coach Bambi Hawkins, along with her team, distributes giveaways.

Sharing high-fives with fans
Sharing high-fives with fans

A friendly cast of students joins college President Davie Jane Gilmour aboard the float.
A friendly cast of students joins college President Davie Jane Gilmour aboard the float.

Volleyball team members Morgan Moberg, left, and Kelly Hebert lead the Penn College parade entry.
Volleyball team members Morgan Moberg, left, and Kelly Hebert lead the Penn College parade entry.

Little League fans attempt to stay dry.
Little League fans attempt to stay dry.

Though drenched, Ryan Enders’ and Elizabeth Mendenhall’s spirits are undampened.
Though drenched, Ryan Enders’ and Elizabeth Mendenhall’s spirits are undampened.

A soaked parade crew returns to campus.
A soaked parade crew returns to campus.

George Girio (center), whose family has established numerous scholarship funds at Penn College, is a longtime "uncle" to teams in the Series.
George Girio (center), whose family has established numerous scholarship funds at Penn College, is a longtime “uncle” to teams in the Series.

 

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