“to support, promote, encourage, sponsor and foster civic and cultural improvements for the Conyngham Valley and it’s residents.”
Over 65 Years of History
How We Got Started
The Conyngham Valley Civic Organization, known simply as CVCO, grew out of a need for a coordinated approach to provide civic activities for a growing population in the area.
A group of citizens met in late 1952 at the home of Mr. & Mrs. John Cotsack to discuss the lack of recreational facilities for the community’s young people and what might be done about it. It was decided to attempt to form an organization for the purpose of meeting the need, and residents were invited to attend a meeting on January 6, 1953 at Christ United Church of Christ.
Approximately 50 valley residents attended and formally launched the organization. It was decided to sponsor both long and short-term projects. A board of directors was selected and they began to meet monthly. The initial CVCO directors were: President Merle E. Campbell, First Vice President Robert E. Hobart, Second Vice President Mrs. Robert Klotz, Third Vice President Rev. Harlan Breininger, Secretary John Cronin and Treasurer George Ernst, with many directors serving 1 year, 2 year and 3 year terms.
CVCO continues to promote activities for the Valley residents. CVCO hosts a Halloween Parade and a Memorial Day Parade. The members also support a Girls Softball team, a Babe Ruth team and they host the Shooting Stars Basketball Program. Many other activities are promoted by the CVCO in order to continue
The 1st major project chosen to raise funds was a “mini-fair”. The event was to be known as Valley Day and would be held on the Conyngham Elementary School grounds. Proving to be a great success, it was decided to make Valley Day an annual event.
In 1958, the pool was constructed at a cost of $30,000. Know now as the George E. Ernst Memorial Pool, the facility was named in honor of its dedicated promoter and former CVCO President.
The community center became a reality in 1966 when CVCO purchased the former Conyngham Band Hall from the Naugle Estate for $18,000 “to be turned into a canteen and recreational building.” It was renovated and named in honor of another CVCO president, William E. Starrett.
During the same year, the former James Phile Property was secured for $25,000 and, in conjunction with Conyngham Borough and Sugarloaf Township, was developed into Whispering Willow Park. The park was dedicated May 16, 1971.
The last major construction projects included pool renovation, a new pump house and bathhouse at the Ernst Pool. Built at a cost of $90,000, the bathhouse was dedicated in 1982.
In the summer of 1999, ground was broken for the most recent CVCO project. The dream of a new recreation facility for CVCO became a potential reality when Mr. & Mrs. John B. Gould offered a generous donation for the project. Built at a cost of nearly $500,000, the building hosts the Shooting Stars youth basketball league. It is also used by many adult and youth groups for basketball, volleyball and other social and athletic purposes. The recreation center is built on the former band hall near Whispering Willows Park.