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Arians announces city parks conservancy

William P. Kalina
York Dispatch
  • NFL coach pledges $100K

Of all the youngsters meeting Arizona Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians Saturday at Memorial Park, probably none were less star-struck than 10-year-old Josh Sowers.

After all, Josh’s grandfather, Eddie Plank, was one of Arians’ best friends.

“Bruce has known him since he was tiny,” said Josh’s grandmother, Posie Plank, of York City, after getting a hug and chatting with the NFL coach.

Arizona Cardinals coach and York High graduate Bruce Arians, left, talks with Posie Plank of York City and her grandson Josh Sowers, 10, of Manchester Township on Saturday, June 17, 2017. They were attending a news conference at the Memorial Park Complex announcing a York City Parks Conservancy. Arians is a longtime friend of Plank's former husband Eddie. Arians will serve as honorary chair of the conservancy.  Arians, in his new book, details his third brush with cancer, which required surgery in February.

Arians was the main attraction at a news conference to announce the creation of the York City Parks Conservancy.

“I know for a fact I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for (Memorial) Park,” Arians said during his speech.

In fact, he kicked off the fundraising process by pledging $100,000 toward the goal of $3 million. He will serve as the honorary chair of the conservancy.

Tony Campisi, president and CEO of Glatfelter Insurance Group, will serve as chair.

“This is something that’s been tried and tested, though generally not in communities the size of York,” Campisi said.

“We’re leading in York by taking the initiative to establish this conservancy, which will be a mechanism for fundraising and endowing our city with funding on an ongoing, annual basis,” Campisi said.

York City Mayor Kim Bracey went to Arizona with other local officials in April to work with Arians to establish a conservancy program. At the time, Bracey said the conservancy will help the city maintain its public parks long into the future by offsetting and reining in some of the associated costs.

Arizona Cardinals coach and York High graduate Bruce Arians holds Austin Stock, 3, as they pose for a photo Saturday, June 17, 2017. They were attending a news conference at the Memorial Park Complex announcing a York City Parks Conservancy. Arians will serve as honorary chair of the conservancy. Bill Kalina photo

Steven Roland Washington, 13, plays several positions for the York Bears youth football team and thought sharing an event with Arians was special.

“I was surprised that I got to meet someone that well known,” he said.