Aston Names Fran Miles 2015 Citizen of the Year
by Loretta Rodgers
Aston Commissioners, during the September 16 meeting of the board, announced that longtime resident and coach Fran Miles has been named 2015 Township Citizen of the Year.
Miles will participate in the Community Day Parade on Oct. 3 and be honored during a special ceremony.
“I am very honored to have been chosen citizen of the year,” Miles said. “I am truly humbled by this recognition and I thank the people who nominated me.”
A 30-year township resident, Miles has been involved with the Aston Valley Baseball League (AVBL) for 27 years. He coached his son, Frank in the T-ball division and when Frank was moving up to the majors, there was no need for an additional coach. Therefore, Miles volunteered to coach for an opposing team.
At the time, he explained to his son that even though he was coaching the very team that Frank’s team was participating in the playoffs, in his heart he would be cheering for his son.
Over the years, Miles became close friends with the other coaches, especially Jim Buggy, who had a vision of a teener/senior AVBL field. Soon, Jim’s dream became Fran’s dream.
In 1996, Buggy passed away suddenly from a heart attack, and Miles began searching for land. After negotiating with the Penn-Delco School District, the AVBL leased property behind Sun Valley High School. Ground was broken in 2001 and in May of 2002 the field was dedicated and appropriately named “Jim Buggy Memorial Field.”
In the years that followed, Miles was personally involved in the construction of a press box, concession stand, dug outs, and rest rooms.
Miles was also the driving force behind a tournament named in memory of Tommy Marrren, a former player who passed away in 2001 from Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome (SADS).
In May of 2002, the first “Tommy Marren Memorial Weekend Tournament” was held for players 16-19 years of age.
Miles, in 2012, returned to coach in the T-ball division and is now coaching his grandson in the Rookies.
For 23 years Miles served on the executive board of the AVBL as well as a player/agent for eight of those years. He also served as president of the league for four years and is the current league treasurer.
His other activities included coaching St. Joseph CYO soccer, Sun Valley High School varsity hockey; and he served on the township recreation committee. He is a volunteer at Mount Hope United Methodist Church preschool and Pennell Elementary School.
Miles is a member of the Aston Township Hall of Fame, AVBL Hall of Fame, and the Pennsylvania Babe Ruth Hall of Fame.
At the conclusion of the commissioners meeting, each of the commissioners congratulated Miles, stating that he is an excellent choice for citizen of the year.