Garnets Then and Now Gather to Support Perry Bartlett
By Mitch Silver
Rye High’s record-setting relay team of the early 1970s is coming together again, 45 years after they last took the track, for another race against time. The challenge for the quartet now is a threat to one of their own: lead–off man Perry Bartlett recently was handed a diagnosis of cancer. His teammates — Dr. Frank Fioretti, Michael Maloney, and George Burkhardt — and their friends from the class of 1973 have started a Perry Bartlett GoFundMe page to help assist him with the cost of his medical treatments as well as transportation to his therapy.
Perry Bartlett was a three-sport letterman for Rye, starring on the gridiron, the wrestling mat, and the track. So, he has lots of teammates, and lots more friends who are pitching in. Paul Anders Schwamm wrote, “Please join me in helping my brother, Perry. Proud, humble, quiet man that he is, he refused for months my efforts to start a campaign to raise money to help him with medical expenses. He also forbade me to tell anyone of his health challenges. Fortunately, as a group, we were finally able to get Perry’s reluctant permission to do this. Perry is a very good man, who is truly deserving of our assistance.”
George Burkhardt, anchor of that undefeated 4×200-yard relay team, added, “We still relish the time when we flew around the track and took on all comers. Perry would always give us the lead, and no one ever beat us. Our friend and teammate is now facing a formidable opponent, but just as we did in high school, we will support him and we will win this race together.”
Classmates Joe Seftner, Tom Ashton, Lori Talento, and Lori Uhle are among those putting out the word about the need to raise funds. They reached out to the current Rye relay team of Ben Johnson, John Goldszer, Cian Galligan, and Connor Maloney, and the four are contacting their own teammates and recent graduates. So far, Garnets old and new have raised more than half of their $10,000 goal.
In a letter to their classmates, those behind the effort wrote, “Over the years, the Rye High Class of 1973 has provided scholarships for our classmates’ children; now we would like to help a peer. We humbly request that we gather together, spread the word, and donate to one of our own. Thank you all.”
Perry Bartlett, left, Dr. Frank Fiorertti, and Michael Maloney return to the scene of their triumphs.