Pollock: Ulasewicz passing, casino wagering and St. Marys players – Olean Times Herald

Catching up on some recent items from the inbox:

LATE LAST week an email arrived from Deb Lyons alerting us to the annual Old First Night run/walk at Chautauqua Institution.

Lyons, Chautauqua’s Sports Club Director and Old First Night Coordinator, noted the 2.7-mile event would be held on Saturday, July 29 at 8 a.m. Benefitting the Chautauqua Fund, the participation fee is $25 with prizes to age-group brackets in 10-year increments. Admission to the Institution is free for the race and sign-up can be made at chq.org/oldfirstnight/ or by calling (716) 357-6281.

But I read the email somewhat wistfully, as the Old First Night event was inaugurated 28 years ago by former Olean school system special education teacher “Peg” Ulasewicz.

Ulasewicz, 66, died of cancer in early May at St. Augustine, Fla.

A New York City native, I got to know her as the Olean High tennis coach for a span of 26 years. She was one of the Big 30’s most attentive coaches phoning in her results and in a very timely fashion.

“Peg” was also the OHS Ski Club adviser for 22 years.

She was married to former St. Bonaventure basketball player Dick Ulasewicz and in 2001 their son Mike, from Olean High, won the Bob Davies-Lou Foy Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award.

Over the years, I got to know her better on visits to Chautauqua where a family member also worked during the summer.

Ulasewicz held Lyons’ current title, Sports Club Director and Old First Night Coordinator, and took immense pride in having started the Old First Night event and, of course, in its longevity.

Somehow it doesn’t seem the same without her in charge.

ABOUT A WEEK AGO, I wrote a column on gambling and noted how the non-stop action at casinos has hurt attendance

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