‘Spring Games’ get local teens moving
By Felicia Whatley - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Wed., Jun. 27, 2012
Two teens from South Windsor High School, Troy Heidtmann and Chris Weigen, through social media and advertisements, drew in more than 400 teens from several Connecticut schools to play sports and dance at Tolland's Star Hill Family Athletic Center on June 16. The active entertainment was part of the program called “Spring Games for the Kids by the Kids.”
Weigen said he and Heidtmann organized the event as a way to be productive and to get themselves familiar with their future career goals as “inspired entrepreneurs.”
Tickets sold for $13 a person, with a portion going to the sports complex and their hired security. It took a month and a half to put the event together. This was an alcohol- and drug-free event. The participating teens weren't allowed to bring purses or backpacks into the center.
Lyle Rotondo, from SWHS, said, “It's amazing how Troy and Chris could put on this event.” He added, “Everyone is having fun. It is the biggest event of the year and all the sports teams from SWHS are here to play sports and enjoy the music and the dancing.”
Weigen and Heidtmann used Facebook, Twitter, the radio, and fliers put in Glastonbury, Tolland, East Windsor, South Windsor, East Catholic and Howell Cheney Technical high schools to get the word out.
Weigen’s mom was proud of her son. “It is great that they have the opportunity to be entrepreneurial,” said Susan Weigen. “They have taken a nice idea from scratch and made it into a major project. They secured the venue, sold the tickets, and advertised to make the event successful. Even Police Chief Reed said the two were like Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook.”
Heidtmann said, “We always want to challenge ourselves with business ideas. In doing Spring Games, we chose to do something productive for the community.”
Star Hill Family Athletic Center owner Bill Maclean said that the center has a fitness center, a full weight room, a swimming pool, two full fields, two basketball courts, and six volleyball courts.
Mike Smida, who works for Star Hill, said, “Credit should be given to Troy and Chris. Those young men are organized and this is a good concept.” Smida said, “The kids get to know each other from other schools to play, network and dance.”
Weigen plans to study business at Southern State in New Hampshire in the fall and plans to continue event planning at a larger scale, and Heidtmann has another year at SWHS.