This month, I have completed my sixth and final year as president of Edison Angels Girls Softball. During six years, Edison Angel’s Board of Directors made needed improvements to the program and facilities that would make the complex a premiere location, which would attract national college showcases from around the country. The complex has become a stage for young athletes to seek out and perform for college recruiters as they attempt to pave their way to colleges of their choices. The tournaments and showcases have become essential fundraisers for the recreational programs at Angels which supplement the best training opportunities and equipment.
During Mayor Tom Lankey’s first year, I asked the mayor to meet with our board to understand our goals and obstacles to becoming a premiere facility. Mayor Lankey met with us immediately and it was clear he not only understood the benefits of this youth league, but also the impact it had on college bound players. Moreover, he understood the financial impact our activities had on the business community. Several times a year, as college showcases highlight the tournament season, hundreds of players as well as college recruiters occupy local hotels benefiting businesses and services throughout the Middlesex County area resulting in revenues in the millions.
From Mayor Lankey’s first months in office, he and his staff have been with Edison Angel’s on every pivotal turn. He has taken care of both mundane issues to the catastrophic for the club. He has mediated issues that were between Angels and utility companies. Mayor Lankey has stepped in when he knew the club lacked resources to deal with tons of illegal dumping, which was beyond our control. His staff has been there to evaluate, recommend, and implement fixes on the grounds. The mayor and his staff have never missed an opportunity to ask if the club was in need of any help. And that help at times has come when I have only given the mayor a few days’ notice.
The mayor’s impact on the Edison Angels/Kobilis Complex will be evident for years to come. The reputation the complex has resulted in attracting national showcases and a never-ending stream of other entities that would like to be a part of one of New Jersey best softball complexes. Mayor Lankey has gone above and beyond helping with issues and logistics of running this league. He has benefited young softball players in Edison and at the same time has put Edison first. With Edison first, the town and its businesses benefit by the mayor and his staff’s understanding of the impact of the Edison Angel’s activities in the community.
John Szilagyi, Jr.
Past President Edison Angels (2011-2017)