That every effort will be made to keep soccer on the map in Bethlehem as the only major professional sport in the State of Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, was strongly evident at the inaugural meeting of the Soccer Booster Club, of Bethlehem, held on Monday evening in the Yo Eddie Club rooms, Broad and Main streets, with more than fifty enthusiastic boosters present.
As chairman of a temporary program committee, formed during the past week, H. H. Schulze outlined the proposed constitution and by-laws of the club . These were adopted. Mr. Schulze, in addressing the members, pointed out the urgency of the people of Bethlehem to lending their support to keep big league soccer in this city, the main object for the organization of the booster club. Membership is obtained by the purchase of a season ticket for the coming season and each member pledges himself to do all possible for the promotion and interest of soccer in Bethlehem. Not only to be a booster of the Bethlehem club, but also the developing of school boy, college and sand lot soccer will be the club aims.
Claude M. Stauffer, secretary of the Bethlehem Motor Club, and bandmaster of the City Band, was elected president.
other officers elected were H. H. Schulze, Fred Kline, James Hart and Charles E. Goodenough, vice presidents, and William A. Highfield, secretary-treasurer. A Board of Governors was named to manage the club's affairs. Serving on the board, in addition to the officers are Messrs. D. Prosser, Eugene Collins, E. Metzger, T. Waite, F. Pepper, C. Clark, H. Bennett, A. Paton, G. Crawford, A. Hewitt, T. Kiefer, H. Williams, H. A. Saylor, Fred Lambert and E. Rush, all of this city; A. Gunning, of Easton, and G. Hill, of Allentown. Five vacancies still remaining will be filled from the outlying districts.
Judging by the views aired by the newly-elected officers and members of the Board of Governors, the organization will not be lacking in pep. It will keep the school children interested in soccer in various manners. It will not only boost soccer, but help push along other civic activities, figuring that with community spirits stirred up in all things, soccer will be carried along in the march of progress. But, above all, it will take a gallant attempt to uphold major league soccer here and thus keep Bethlehem in line with the larger cities where the success of the game is assured.
In replying to the various suggestions offered, W. L. Lewis said that what was needed most of all was moral support for the boys on the team. In other cities on the circuit, crowds ranging from five to ten thousand, turning out to root for the home club, he said. It could be readily understood, therefore, that it was very disheartening for the players to play away from home with such crowds rooting against them, and play their home games with but a corporal's guard to cheer them along, said Mr. Lewis. He pointed out that the Bethlehem team was the greatest drawing card in the circuit and for that reason other clubs were anxious to keep them in the league. Under present conditions, with that drawing power gone, Bethlehem would go, too, so, to remain in was necessary to maintain the highest class of material for the team, with the enormous expense incidental thereto. In reiterating his desire for moral rather than financial support, Mr. Lewis stated that he is willing to devote a portion of the receipts, over and above expenses, to charitable organizations and would be please to have the team play a pre-season exhibition game, the proceeds to go to the Children's Home.
A meeting of the Board of Governors has been called for next Monday to deal with suggestions offered during the week. Through the courtesy of the Yo Eddie Club, this meeting will be held at the Yo Eddie Club rooms, at 7:45 p.m. All sport lovers are urged to offer suggestions, to be sent to Claude M. Stauffer, secretary, Bethlehem Motor Club, for the betterment of existing conditions as regards soccer in this city.