Leon Pesner is being honored tonight for his many years of dedication and devotion to the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame. He began his service for The Hall of Fame, shortly after it was founded by Joe Holland in 1973-74, when he became a member of the first Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame executive committee. Never one to sit back in his life, Leon took charge right away, selling tickets and promoting the annual dinner, which he ran for many years (1975-96) until he and Doris relocated to Florida in 1996. Pesner served as Chairman of the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame for nine terms, longer than anyone else to date.
When the introductory and acceptance speeches were becoming too “long-winded” (going beyond the 3 and 5 minute limitations), Leon would blow a shrill whistle to bring the speaker to a quick conclusion.
Leon was instrumental in securing the donation of three trophy cabinets and having them placed in The Rockland County Office Building in New City.
He began his athletic supporting campaigns upon graduating in 1939 from Spring Valley High School, where he earned two letters in basketball. In the 1960’s he founded a booster organization for Spring Valley football, and organized the annual dinners for them and The Pony Express League. Leon was appointed Commissioner of The Spring Valley Adult Softball League, prompting the Rockland County Umpires Association to acknowledge this league as the best organized league in The County.
Also active throughout his life as a leader in The Pythians, Fire Department, March of Dimes, local and county politics, and his synagogue, Leon Pesner was born to lead others.
His son Steven once said of Leon, “He is that special type of person who would wake up in the morning and look out the window- not to see what the weather was like, but to see whether there was someone outside in need of his assistance.”
In addition to Steven, Leon is survived by his widow Doris, son Alan (coach at Nyack High), and daughter Susan.