My Corner, Your Corner: Redefining standards of beauty, athleticism

My Corner, Your Corner

Tony Callaio

I had the privilege this week of speaking to Amanda Booth, a former resident of West Pittston and a 2003 graduate of Wyoming Area. Amanda was a pretty good athlete back in high school, participating in swimming and track and receiving the Sunday Dispatch Female Athlete of the Year Award in her senior year.

After finishing one year in college, Amanda worked during the summer, saving as much money as possible. When September rolled around, she took resumes and head shots and went to New York City where she would make cold call after cold call to get into modeling. Crazy, right?

It was only a matter of time before Amanda got her first modeling job and, in the blink of an eye, she was flying to Europe and then to Asia to model — maybe not so crazy, after all.

I wrote a story about Amanda when she started to make a name for herself. It was the very first article to be written about her and I recall her telling me if she ever gets a huge movie role, she’ll invite me to the red carpet ceremony.

Fast forward to today. You’ll read in a feature in today’s paper about Amanda that she and her husband, clothing designer Mike Quinones, are parents to 11-month-old son, Micah, who has Down syndrome. Amanda is so upbeat and positive about Micah’s future and, at times, downright giddy about him. “He’s so adorable,” she said with a laugh.

Because of Amanda’s use of social media, Micah has become a star via Instagram. The modeling agency Amanda works for has signed him, as well. I’m looking forward to Micah’s first photo layout.

I am so proud of Amanda for her modeling, her acting and her most important role, being a mom – and I’m not just saying that to get a red carpet invite, either!

Victory Sports League

With raining coming into the area, the Victory Sports League’s activities were curtailed Thursday night. The Victory Sports League is an offshoot of the Challenger Baseball League. Both leagues are comprised of individuals with physical and mental disabilities. Victory Sports League is for adults 18 though 60 years of age.

Victory Sports League plays baseball at 6 p.m. on Thursdays at the West Pittston Little League. If you’re looking for a fun evening, go to the park and support the Phillies and the Yankees.

Every player gets to bat twice, hit and run the bases. When you’re watching from the sideline, it looks like total mayhem on the field, but it’s not. Everyone knows their position and family and friends take to the field with gloves in hand to help out. It’s the greatest thing.

“You’ll see players from opposing teams helping each other, parents in the field, siblings helping siblings, all kinds of stuff you don’t normally see in regular baseball games,” said Dotty Martin, editor of the Sunday Dispatch and parent to a special needs child who participates in the league. It’s a true family affair, as Martin’s younger daughter volunteers as a catcher.

The league is run by Fred DeSanto, who was involved with getting the Challenger League off the ground in 1991 when it became only the second league of its nature in the country. The first league was based in the city of Williamsport. The league is privately funded and every individual gets a uniform.

You can tell Fred loves these people from the minute he arrives at the ballpark as they flock to him. Gloria Vacula and Times Leader reporter Bill O’Boyle, who serves as vice president of the league, and a slew of volunteers aid Fred.

The league is growing and, when you see the nearly 40 players having fun playing the great American sport, you’ll want to go back time after time to watch these fine men and women.

If you would like to donate your time or money to Victory Sports or the Challenger League, contact Fred at 570-466-9675.

Quote of the week

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams, sixth U.S. president.

Thought of the week

“Never judge a work of art by its defects.” – Zachary Taylor, 12th U.S. president.

Bumper sticker

“No man does his best work in any one day of the year.” – Daniel Guggenheim.

If you have a birthday, anniversary or special event you’d like publicized, email Tony Callaio at

comments powered by Disqus