The Viking Pride organization is in its seventh year, but this may be its most wide-reaching one yet.
The Winthrop booster group is helping to defray the cost of the athletic user fee with a generous $50,000 donation that was matched by the School Committee. Its proposal to donate two brand new buses for use by Winthrop sports teams and groups is being reviewed and could result in substantial savings for the School Department.
And finally, Viking Pride is hosting one of its biggest fundraisers ever on Saturday, August 7 at Miller Field. Tavares, the legendary group that reigned in the disco music era, will be the featured attraction at the event that will be one part concert, one part Winthrop High alumni reunion, and one part feast.
“This year we wanted to make our great alumni reunion even bigger,” said Al Petrilli, board member and former chairman. “We wanted to attract a top band and because of the demographics of our alumni, Tavares came to everyone’s attention. They were one of the hottest bands of the disco era in the 1970s and they have so many hits.”
The food will be plentiful at Miller Field. “We’ve asked businesspersons in the town for a donation of $250 and they can then sell their products at stands at the August 7 event,” said Petrilli. “It’s working out really well so far.”
The Meat Market, Hot Diggity, and Elite Embroidery have signed on as vendors to-date.
Guests attending the event will see a stage assembled at the 50-yard line facing the bleachers. There will be VIP tables [priced at $50 per ticket and $500 for a table] situated on the field with a dance floor in the middle. The general admission for bleacher seats is $30.
Beer and wine will be served as the group has secured a one-day liquor license. There will be a music act prior to the performance by Tavares.
Suffolk Downs is the major sponsor of the event, having made a donation of $10,000.
Petrilli is hoping for a large turnout. “We need the town and the surrounding communities to come out and support this event,” he said. "All the money goes back to helping the schoolchildren of Winthrop. Our goal is to raise $75,000.”
Tickets for the event are available for purchase at Christopher’s Flowers, Luna Boutique, and Jack’s or by calling Al Petrilli at 617-901-5232. There will also be a ticket-selling day on Saturday, July 24, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Miller Field.
Mallios becomes VPF’s youngest board member
Viking Pride has welcomed Suffolk University senior Vasili Mallios as its youngest board member.
Mallios, 21, is a Class of 2007 graduate of Winthrop High School where he was a standout athlete and basketball captain.
“Viking Pride gave a lot to me and other students at the high school and they helped save programs that were going to be put aside,” said Mallios. “By Viking Pride giving to me, I felt like I had to give to the next generation of people. I feel I can bring a lot of creative ideas and that I can relate more to the younger generation.”
Al Petrilli is excited to have Mallios on board.
“It’s remarkable that a 21-year-old would think of giving back and how he realized when the budget cuts were happening to him while he was in high school – it’s a big testament to him and his family. We’re lucky to have Vasili aboard.”