The History Of Heitzman
By Kate Alba
Heitzman Recreation Center was named after a man who lived on the 3500 block of Emerald St by the name of Bob Heitzman.Heitzman looked around and saw a neighborhood of young people with the desire to play sports.
He started a clubhouse in the back of his home,so kids had not only a place to go but a man who truly cared.Heitzman named his club the Jasper A.C.He took many neighborhood kids and shaped them into athletes and instilled in them not only good sportsmanship,but also the ability to be upstanding members of the community.
The parents of these children helped Heitzman whenever and wherever they could.For example they assisted by helping collect money needed to keep programs going.
But Heitzman was not finished yet! He purchased an old building on 3500 Frankford Ave.,which is now the schoolyard of St Joan of Arc.Bythis time he had teams of all ages participating in rec center programs.
As for Bob Heitzman,he was a married man with children of his own.His wife was a very understanding woman and knew that Bob would not be happy until he tried to do something for the youth of the area.He was a mailman who would come home after a long day of being on his feet delivering mail and recruit players from the blocks he walked on his route.Heitzman stole time from his family and did it with a smile,even if it meant he had to work whatever hours he had to.
What did he give the community?
He gave everything he could. He helped form the lives of many men,some of whom came back to the club and helped.That list includes Congressman Robert Borski and John Egan,who ran for Mayor of the city and many more.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because the Heitzman Recreation Center is still there and we need the help of the parents of the community to come out and help bring back a dream that was once realized