Mahar School Committee OKs naming snack shack after longtime Booster, coach

The Mahar School Committee voted unanimously last week to name the football field’s snack shack after Larry Fisher, a longtime girls basketball coach who was also a Booster Club member for 43 years.

The Mahar School Committee voted unanimously last week to name the football field’s snack shack after Larry Fisher, a longtime girls basketball coach who was also a Booster Club member for 43 years. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DOMENIC POLI

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 01-19-2024 4:07 PM

ORANGE — The Mahar School Committee voted this month to name the football field concession stand after longtime varsity girls basketball coach and Booster Club member Larry Fisher.

Booster Club President Charles “Joey” Verheyen approached the committee in November with a request to name the snack shack after Fisher and on Jan. 11, committee members agreed unanimously after having given the public two months to object.

“If the Boosters want to name it for him, I think that’s fine,” Committee Chair Peter Cross said. “I think he’s given a lot to the school in many ways, particularly in the area of athletics.”

Cross said there will likely be a dedication ceremony in the fall.

Fisher said the club’s efforts are unnecessary but he appreciates the gesture.

“It’s a nice thank-you from the club,” he said.

Fisher said he was a Boosters Club member for 43 years, stepping down in August because he felt it was time for the younger generations to take the reins. He said he had been treasurer for 24 years and was previously the club’s president and vice president. He has previously mentioned the club dispensed about $300,000 to Mahar sports team during his tenure.

Fisher was also the girls basketball coach for 19 years, including two at the helm of the junior varsity squad. He stepped down in May 2021.

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Fisher finished with a 228-108 record, winning the Franklin County League six times. His teams qualified for the postseason each year of his tenure. He also brought the Senators to the Western Mass. semifinals in 2008, 2013 and 2017, and reached the Western Mass. Div. 2 championship game in 2012.

At the November meeting, Elizabeth Teahan-Zielinski, superintendent of the Ralph C. Mahar Regional and Union 73 school districts, explained that Verheyen’s public request started a mandatory public-comment period.

“There could be other people who say, ‘Hey, I think the snack shack should be named after Gumby,’” she said. “They have a right to present that and the reasoning why, and then the School Committee will deliberate.”

School Committee member Patricia A. Smith received confirmation from Teahan-Zielinski that the concession stand is not currently named after anyone.

“That’s good, because I don’t want to kick somebody else off,” she said. “That wouldn’t be cool.”

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.