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Sponsor Needed, 89Th Reading Marbles Tournament


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A History in Marbles by Debra Stanley-Lapic

This year, the city of Reading will hold its 89th marbles tournament! The tournament began all the way back in 1923. That year, the first city marbles champion was Harry Bridegam, who represented the 2nd and Oley Streets School. A long association was begun when the Reading Times (later the Reading Eagle) became the sponsor of the city tournament in 1929. Of special note is the fact that the Reading Marbles Tournament is the only marbles tournament that has been held continuously since 1923. While several other marbles tournaments began along with Reading’s in 1923, these are no longer in existence or they have been revived after breaks, some as long as 50 years. There is no other children's sporting event that can equal the Reading Marbles Tournament’s record; therefore, it can be considered the oldest children's sporting event in the country. Reading’s marble tournament even predates Little League, which started in 1939, and the Soap Box Derby, which began in 1934. Now, that is something to be extremely proud of…historically speaking! Most other city or district tournaments stopped or took a break during the World War II years, but Reading’s did not. During those years, pictures of the Reading Marbles Tournament winners were prominently placed on the front page of the Reading Times, right next to the war news: marbles were that important to both the youth and parents of Reading. (Read the full article in the Summer 2011 issue of Historical Review of Berks County. Look for the summer issue in June! Join the Historical Society of Berks County now to receive the Historical Review, if you are not a member.)

They are hoping that perhaps some group or organization can help keep the history alive. If you have any ideas, contact Debra Stanley-Lapic.

If you don't have her contact information, I can put you in touch with her.

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Cant even guess what an event like that would cost.

Hope they get what they need!

Actually running the tournament itself costs nothing......I have never been a paid employee. What we are looking for is sponsorship money to send our champions to the National Marbles Tournament. Two years ago we lost our sponsor of 80+ years due to the economic downturn.

But we are still looking for a sponsor !! :)

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Ahhhh poop! Guess I'm out then. If it were the UK then I could have done something since I have about a few dozen Aunts, Uncles and cousins that live in the area. Heck my sister lives there and I will be there for a visit in mid June. Oh well!

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Actually running the tournament itself costs nothing......I have never been a paid employee. What we are looking for is sponsorship money to send our champions to the National Marbles Tournament. Two years ago we lost our sponsor of 80+ years due to the economic downturn.

But we are still looking for a sponsor !! :)

What amount is it? Maybe if we knew,someone or a group of collectors could help. What would you be looking for as far as money?

SNYD

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What amount is it? Maybe if we knew,someone or a group of collectors could help. What would you be looking for as far as money?

SNYD

It costs $775 to send a person to the National Marbles Tournament. It would be great to have that amount times 4 or 5.....the more we have the more kids we can send. That amount includes room and meals for the tournament week for the child and their parent. I hate to have a player win and say congratulations.....you can play in the Nationals if can come up with the money. I am hoping to have the sponsorship in place for the local tournament in two weeks. We have our fingers crossed. Thanks !!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great News.....I just found out that we have a sponsor for the Reading and Berks County kids to play in the National Marbles Tournament !!! The Reading Marbles Tournament is 89 years strong and will now be rolling into our 90th next year !!! Thank you to all that inquired about our tournament !!

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