By: Frank Lavin
Club Old Timer and Salesian Cooperator
On Saturday, August 28, 2021 a group of approximately thirty Salesian Boys’ and Girls’ Club young “Old Timer” men met in Novato, CA. at the home of board member, Claudio Cipollina to celebrate their annual “Fred Scolari” summer BBQ lunch, reunion, and pool party. Randy De Martini, the current Executive Director of the San Francisco club at Sts. Peter and Paul Church has organized this get together for years, bringing guys together from Fred’s era as director to reminisce, to reconnect, and to enjoy some fun in the sun.
Randy noted how Fred was his mentor coming up through the Club as a youth and as Fred’s assistant director for the early part in Randy’s forty plus years working at the North Beach Salesian center. Jeff and Chris Figone, the two sons of longtime Salesian Cooperators, Bob (recently deceased) and Liana Figone were a welcome surprise, given their dad’s recent death. Former club members and now board members, Joe Braucher and Brian Giannino as well as Lance Hughston, brother of Sherri Hughston, Club Chief Operating Officer. The Club community remains tight.
Fred Scolari grew up at the Club in the 1930’s and early 40’s before embarking upon an NBA career starting with the Washington Capitols and ending with the Boston Celtics. His time spent at the club from 1957-1988 left a big mark on the lives of many boys and young men who were influenced by his own brand of Salesian accompaniment. Fred expected and extracted the very best of those around him, in true Don Bosco style. Although he died nearly twenty years ago, the memory of him and his time spent at the Club remains strong. In 2022, a celebration to commemorate the centenary of his birth is being planned.