Mickey Vernon Museum Gets a New Home

The Mickey Vernon Museum has moved from Chadds Ford to the Granite Run Mall, just south of Media, Pa. The Mickey Vernon Museum will now be more accessible to both tourists and local sports fans.

VernonMuseumJim Vankoski was formerly a teacher and baseball coach at Strath Haven High School in Wallingford.  In his current position as the Mickey Vernon Museum’s Executive Director, he and Joe Cirilli (Executive Director of the Delco Athletes Hall of Fame) came to Tore Fiore (who was the first to provide a public home for the museum at the bureau’s offices in Chadds Ford from 2005 to 2012) for help in locating a new site for the museum.

Fiore contacted Aubrey Proud, Director of Marketing for the Granite Run Mall, who together with mall Operations Director Ken Lupold (also a Strath Haven alum and baseball player for Jim) developed a plan and combined resources to move the museum into the Granite Run Mall.

“Putting this project together was a labor of love,” Fiore said. “We knew the mall was a great place to showcase and honor local athletes, and with sports tourism being a huge market in this country, we knew that a more central location in the county would increase tourist traffic, making the mall an ideal choice.”

“The mall is like a concrete field of dreams,” Proud said, “because ‘people will come’ to see and appreciate the rare memorabilia, artifacts, photos and videos of their favorite local sports legends, both past and present.”

“Malls are by nature, community centers,” Lupold added. “By housing the Mickey Vernon Museum we are inviting the community to share not only a great social and shopping experience – but their passion for sports, for cheering on their favorites teams and for learning more about their friends and neighbors who went on to become national superstars.”

Jim Vankoski agreed, noting that Delaware County has been home to some of the biggest names in sports history.

The newly relocated Sports Legends Exhibit of Delaware County at the Mickey Vernon Museum invites all Delco residents and those from neighboring communities to attend the museum’s grand opening on April 21 at 1 p.m. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony with special guests Gay Vernon, Mickey Vernon’s daughter, and Joe Cirilli, the executive director of the Delco Athletes Hall of Fame.  For over 60 years, Joe has been influential in promoting sports in Delaware County.

The museum is a strictly-volunteer institution, and will be open every Tuesday through Saturday from 11-7 p.m. Admission is free. Those interested in volunteering to greet shoppers wanting to see the museum should contact Jim Vankoski at 610-909-4919 or vankoski21@comcast.net or Phil Damiani, president of the Media Area Sports Hall of Fame, at 610-608-9066. For more information, visit http://mickeyvernonsportsmuseum.com.

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