A Brief History of the Pastime Club
The Pastime Club, a non-profit organization, was founded on June 22, 1915. The founding members, believing that some of the life’s best lessons could be learned through participation in athletics, adopted the motto: “Progress in Sports.” As a civic and fraternal organization, the club’s mission is to promote youth athletics within the local community.
The club suffered setbacks between May 1931 and April 1938, immediately following the Great Depression. On May 6, 1938 the Club was reorganized and began its modern era. Members met monthly, sponsored a baseball and basketball team, held Pinochle & Quoits tournaments and hosted an annual children’s Christmas party. The Club’s activities were financed by member dues (then $0.25 per month), fund raising raffles and minstrel shows.
During the second World War, those members not in the armed services or away at a University worked on restoring the building at 3 Hilltop Road, the home of the Pastime Club for over 75 years. Being a volunteer organization (a tradition that continues to this day), members freely gave their time, talents and labor to accomplish the massive restoration project and raise money for materials. By 1947, two apartments had been constructed on the building’s second floor. In 1953 the club’s four lane bowling alley (the Lanes), just behind the club, was completed.
Today, the Pastime Club is the community’s single largest financial supporter of youth athletic programs in the Mendhams. The Club sponsors teams and leagues, purchases equipment for fields and provides scholarship awards to student-athletes in local schools. The Club runs an annual 50/50 raffle coordinated with our Labor Day Carnival, and at only $5 per ticket, the Club has generated prize pools in excess of $50,000 in recent years utilizing the net proceeds to exclusively fund these initiatives. In addition, many of the Club’s members are involved in all varieties of local youth sports organizations - serving as coaches and board members.
The Club sponsors Mendham’s largest community event – the Labor Day Carnival. The annual Labor Day celebration was started in 1943 and has run each year since. Taking place on Borough Field, the Carnival is a large-scale event including rides, games and food. All members of the Club work shifts at the carnival in an effort to make this a truly wonderful, end-of-summer community event. The planning for the annual Carnival begins the first week of January each year, and culminates with the 50/50 raffle drawing and a fireworks show.
The Club also brings the circus to town annually. Generally in the late Spring or early Summer, a traveling circus has been contracted to offer additional small-town, family entertainment in Mendham. Our most recent vendor, The Kelly Miller Circus, has put on a great show including elephants, lions, fire breathers, trapeeze artists and genuinely hysterical clowns.
In addition to our community outreach, the Club is also a fraternal organization. We host a number member oriented events, including our annual golf outing, Super Bowl party, beer dinners and Christmas party.