Tommy Guano would have loved it !! A sparkling fall day that would have been ideal for a training run along Forbidden Drive overlooking the Wissahickon Creek.
As it was, a tribute was held at Valley Green Inn last Thursday to commemorate a tree that was planted in his honor in a green patch alongside the bridal path. Dozens of family, friends and colleagues from his many associations throughout his life came together to celebrate a man whose generosity and kindness touched countless lives.
Race organizer extraordinare Jim "Turtle" Marino took on the role of emcee for the event and reminisced about the myriad of Tom Guano stories he could recall. Marino fondly recalled the yeoman's work that Guano did along with his "Can-Do" spirit working behind the scenes to facilitate race logistics at distance events.
Several of the attendees shared their thoughts about how Guano had enriched their lives. Elaine Grobman of the Komen group spoke about Tom's willingness to support the "Race For The Cure" and pitch in to help in any way possible to further illuminate the fight against breast cancer. Cheryl Tatreau read an ode to Guano that highlighted the truly special person that made him an endearing figure in the lives of all who crossed his path. Mike McBride, who coached Track & Field and X Country with Guano at IHM, touched on the impact that Guano had as a coach to hundreds of young CYO runners at numerous schools over the years. Guano was a superb motivator and was revered by his young charges. It wasn't surprising that because of his knack for connecting with young people that Guano was also regarded as a world-class babysitter.
Guano wore many hats during his illustrious athletic career that included distance running and later in life, swimming and boating.
Guano, an eternal optimist, would often say the "he never had a bad day in his life!"
Indeed, the world could certainly use a few more Tommy Guanos and his undying spirit!