Allegheny Outdoor Club to mark 55th anniversary

Photo provided to the Times Observer Twenty-seven members of the Allegheny Outdoor Club celebrated the club’s 40th anniversary on May 11, 2008 with a hike in State Game Lands 29 in Pleasant Township, the site of the AOC’s first hike on May 11, 1968. The club’s 55th anniversary will be celebrated later this month with a hike at Chapman State Park.

The Allegheny Outdoor Club’s first hikewas in Pleasant Township in 1968.

They’ll celebrate 55 years with a hike and dinner later this month.

A fall dinner is set for Nov. 19.

The origins of the Allegheny Outdoor Club can be traced back to the late 1930s with the Allegheny Hiking Club. The group has been active – in all four seasons – since 1968.

That totals over 2,200 events – hiking, biking, canoeing or kayaking, or cross-country skiing locally, nationally and internationally – of non-motorized activities.

Current President Linda Ross said the first hike was held on State Game Lands 29 on May 11, 1968 and 25 people attended.

The group met the next week at the Akeley Swamp and drew 65 people.

“Two AOC charter members who were involved in the early hikes plan to attend the anniversary dinner,” Ross said. “Marge Neel, who served the AOC in various capacities over decades, including a stint as co-president along with her late husband Chuck, plans to attend.”

Ross added that Sylvia Grisez, who was six and participated in the first hike with her parents and sister, will also be there.

An outdoor writer in the Warren Times Mirror and Observer, Don Neal, claimed after the club’s first organizational meeting that the club “is going to be a success… of this I am sure. The point is proven that folks in the Warren area really are interested in seeing something like an outdoor club functioning.”

“He could not have been more correct in his prophecy,” Ross said.

She highlighted projects the AOC has undertaken outside of outdoor events.

“The AOC has been involved in trail creation and maintenance, construction of walkways across streams, the construction of the wildlife viewing platform at the Big Bend Visitor Center, Kinzua Dam, participation in Winterfest and Eagle Watch, hosting outdoor photography shows, and many other outdoor-related events,” Ross said. ”

In 2008, the AOC was inducted into the Warren County Sports Hall of Fame.”

The celebration on the 19th will start with a hike at Chapman State Park at 2 p.m. A presentation of the club’s history – including the first meeting minutes – will be on display at First Lutheran Church at 3:30 p.m.

Dinner will follow at 5 p.m.

“Members, friends and guests are invited to take part in any or all of the activities,” Ross said.

Reservations are required for the dinner and the deadline for that is Nov. 5.

Anyone looking for further information is asked to call Ross at (814) 723-3920 or AOC treasurer, Lisa To, at (814) 730-3436.


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