It was a big night for the newly formed chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association at Vernon Downs this past Friday.
The former Western New York and Vernon chapters have recently combined efforts to form a more effective unit that will cover all the racing action at Vernon Downs, Tioga Downs, Batavia Downs, and Buffalo Raceway. The new name is “Upstate New York USHWA” and everyone is looking forward to a very successful year.
he night was highlighted with the local membership welcoming USHWA National President Debbie Little and National First Vice President Kelly Young. They came to take part in the proceedings and to help us kick off the new initiative.
The election of officers for the 2008 racing season was the first business of the day and was conducted while our visiting National contingent looked on. The nominations and subsequent show of hands led to the following appointments:
Tim Bojarski, a long time free lance harness writer who frequently contributes to Hoof Beats Magazine and the USTA website, was elected as the new Chapter President. With his background in promotion and customer relations, he hopes to once again bring the USHWA name and purpose to the forefront of horsemen and fans alike. Tim was also named to the post of treasurer.
Jason Settlemoir, Vice President of Racing Operations for Vernon and Tioga Downs, was named as First Vice President of the Chapter. Jason's experience and expertise in every aspect of the sport, as always, will be invaluable to the success of the Chapter and its planned endeavors.
Frank Glasso, former Vernon Chapter President, was elected as Second Vice President. Frank has been a fixture on the racing scene at Vernon for decades and still remains active in the chapter today.
Jim Moran, Public Relations Director, the voice of Vernon Downs and longtime Vernon Chapter Secretary, was once again elected to that post. Jim's wealth of knowledge in the sport is unsurpassed and is a true asset to the Chapter.
Ed Keyes Jr., who has covered harness racing for years in Central New York and has been an active participant in the Chapter since the 1980's, was named as a director.
In conjunction with the Upstate initiative, a new website has been launched as a centerpiece of information surrounding the organization and its participating racetracks.
The address is www.upstatenyushwa.com.