At home: Resides in a double-block home on Grandview Street in Scranton’s Green Ridge section with her two daughters, Kathryn, 9, and Meghan, 6. She has three sisters. Her mother lives next-door. She was just a tot when she was exposed to the game of football. Her parents, avid football fans, carted her and her sisters along to watch the action. But she merely spread out on the bleachers and slept. She never did show interest in the sport until her dad, Dave Lunger, president and general manager of the semipro Scranton Eagles football team, turned ill.
At home: Resides in a double-block home on Grandview Street in Scranton’s Green Ridge section with her two daughters, Kathryn, 9, and Meghan, 6. She has three sisters. Her mother lives next-door.
At work: Home-based childcare; general manager of the Scranton Eagles.
Inspiration: Her children, her mother, the memory of her father, the Eagles volunteers and her faith.
Aspiration: “To instill in my girls good morals and values.”
Aversion: Unreliable volunteers.
Diversions: Playing with my kids on the school yard; reading mystery novels; crocheting and solving crossword puzzles — another remembrance of her dad, who would advise her to tackle the easy ones first.
Motto: “The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” She was just a tot when she was exposed to the game of football. Her parents, avid football fans, carted her and her sisters along to watch the action. But she merely spread out on the bleachers and slept. She never did show interest in the sport until her dad, Dave Lunger, president and general manager of the semipro Scranton Eagles football team, turned ill.
By then, Sue Lunger Foley had married, moved to New York and begun raising children of her own. But the distance separating her from her parents became more difficult as her dad’s condition worsened.
Early on, she began writing promotional and fundraising letters on behalf of the Scranton Eagles.
But when her dad, riddled with Crohn’s disease and cancer, became confined to a hospice unit, the stakes grew higher. Her mother, sisters and she took turns keeping her father company. It was then that Sue Lunger Foley watched her first football game. Granted, she didn’t know much about it, but something more important was taking place — a poignant passage between father and daughter, and the creation of an important memory.
She is sure the televised game involved the Dallas Cowboys, since that was her father’s favorite team, but she can’t recall any other details. After Dave Lunger died in 2000, football became common ground in the Lunger household – even for Sue Foley.
“My mother was always involved in it, selling tickets, working the gates. It was my mother who first pointed out the fact that I was watching my first football game that day in the hospice room.”
Veteran player John Kennedy had stepped in to help with the management end of the game when Mr. Lunger could no longer do it, but he and other members of the team’s board needed additional help.
So Sue, who eventually returned to Scranton on a permanent basis, agreed to be a steady volunteer.
It started simply enough, like her mom, selling tickets, working the gates, drumming up support for the team. Now she is the team’s general manager, secretary and treasurer ... and a whole lot more. She takes care of the uniforms, pays the officials, handles the players’ personnel records, serves as game-day manager and has worked the video camera during games.
The Eagles football team is a member of the Empire Football League and generally plays a 10-game schedule. The away games take the team as near as Binghamton and as far away as Canada.
Near or far, she promotes the team every chance she gets.
She is quick, however, to credit the players and the board and their willingness to help her understand the nuances and the management of the game.
This season, she also received help from a college intern from Tennessee .
But that is just part of her life.
“First and foremost in my life are my daughters,” she said.
Kathryn, 9, and Meghan, 6, attend Robert Morris Elementary School in Green Ridge and have a full schedule of extracurricular activities of their own, from karate to gymnastics to Little League.
“My girls always come first,” she said.
She is 35 and a single parent after her marriage failed. When she opted to make Green Ridge her home once again, she moved into a double-block house that was once her grandmother’s. Her mother lives on the opposite side. Football remains a common thread in the Lunger/Foley family, with even Kathryn and Meghan rounding up support for their special team.
In its heyday, the Scranton Eagles drew packed crowds and would-be players would wait patiently for a chance to get into the action. Now the team struggles to get support.
“The biggest problem we have is getting dependable, long-term volunteers,” Ms. Lunger-Foley said.
For those involved with the Scranton Eagles and the Empire Football League, she said, their efforts “are a labor of love.”
Just like her dad.
contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org