Gym Night History

A piece found on taken from Mr. Harry Frank’s obituary, who passed away December 7, 2007.

Once upon a time…

In the small town of Langhorne, there was a high school by the name of Langhorne-Middletown High.  A man by the name of Harry E. Franks was hired as the chairman of Health and Physical Education and created an event by the name of “Field Day”.  Students were placed on the Red or Blue Team, determined by their last name.  Mr. William Macht, principal, approved the program for high school students and the competition began.

1953-1954, Neshaminy High School, still unfinished, opened their doors and the first Gym Night began.  By the theme of “Fun Night”, two teams, Red and Blue, began competition.  Space was a premium, facilities limited, but the show went on and included such events as; cheerleading, decorations, sportsmanship, and organization.

1954-1957, Gym Night was growing bigger and better; the roots were reaching into hearts and souls of students, staff and the community.  Gym Night was the event that everyone would participate in, and it was clear to see Gym Night was here to stay!

1958-1959, Mr. Fred Gerst was appointed to the Health and Physical Education Department as a chairperson and became the director of Gym Night.  Under his direction, the numbers and events grew larger and larger.  The decorations were more glamorous, exhibitions were “off-Broadway” shows, and the 12th grade relay was the crown jewel.

1954-Present, The Health and Physical Education Department is responsible for Gym Night.  With the talents of early Physical Education staff; John Petercuskie (1954) Jack Swartz (1955), Pete Cordelli (1956), Joel Baba (1956), Pal Allison (1956), Doris Presto, and past Gym Night Directors; Bob Loven, Hal Heffelfinger, and Bill Ferrara, Gym Night grew.  Through the hard work, long hours, and tireless efforts of these people, we have reached the pinnacle of success.

Through the years, Gym Night matured into its present day form, a “student-run production”.  Gym Night captains assume many responsibilities such as designing, building, fund-raising, and show running.  It is because of the talent, time and dedication of all our captains – both past and present (too numerous to mention individually) – that we enjoy this great tradition.  Bravo, Bravo – to you one and all!