SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Resident Pam Bachorz had been named the September 2021 Villager of the Month in South Orange in recognition of her commitment to recreational and athletic activities in South Orange, especially during the pandemic.
“I began volunteering for the baseball program as a team manager,” Bachorz said in a press release. “Then, I raised my hand to rebuild our website and establish a social media presence. Eventually, I joined the baseball executive committee and I’ve chaired sportsmanship, as well as co-chairing technology and serving as a rules commissioner. Since the summer of 2020, I’ve served as the vice president of the executive committee. In addition to my work with our recreation baseball community, I also serve on the board of the Columbia High School Baseball Boosters.”
Baseball has played a large role in Bachorz’s life for quite a while now.
“We moved here (to South Orange) in February 2015, having timed our move to ensure our son was eligible to sign up for spring recreation baseball — I kid you not,” she said, adding her favorite thing about South Orange: “I love cheering on a game at a Meadowland baseball field while also getting to enjoy a concert kicking off at Floods Hill. You can’t beat that combo! Although our cool antique manual scoreboard at historic Cameron Field is a close second for me.”
Bachorz expressed great pride in the fact that she, along with community volunteers and the recreation department, were able to pull off a baseball program during the pandemic.
“We’ve successfully offered two spring recreation seasons and two summer travel seasons during the pandemic. It’s been so refreshing for kids and parents to enjoy a ‘normal’ activity like baseball while the pandemic changes and challenges our daily lives,” Bachorz said. “Kids can see friends and make new ones while also improving baseball and sportsmanship skills. Our youth umpires get to develop their leadership skills and confidence. For families, baseball has offered a chance to connect on the sidelines while our hundreds of volunteers have hopefully found meaning and satisfaction in making this program possible.”
Beyond baseball, Bachorz said South Orange has been a welcoming community.
“We moved here from Texas and we didn’t have many local connections. In these last six years, we’ve made so many wonderful friends through baseball, our son’s school life and the various community activities our family is involved in, such as the SOMA Cookbook Club,” she said. “I never feel alone in South Orange.
“I know there’s always a friend or neighbor if I need anything or just want to connect,” she continued. “Our son — a teenager now — has thrived here, thanks to support and mentorship from teachers, neighbors, coaches and the parents of his friends.”