The Patchogue-Medford Fathers Club was founded in 1974 by a small group of involved and engaged dads who wanted to provide help and support for the district’s athletic programs. The club, whose founders included Frank Fren, Tom Duran, Graig Kelskey and others, started small, selling snacks out of a hot dog wagon at football and basketball games. But soon the ideas started getting bigger and more imaginative — crowd-drawing Roller Derby contests, donkey basketball games — and soon a few dads’ brainstorming had given rise to one of the financial mainstays of the Pat-Med athletic program. With the funds it raised, the club was able to purchase for the athletic department much-needed equipment such as ice machines, film and video cameras, and even the high school’s first football field turf. Each year the club would host a gala dinner to celebrate all the Pat-Med teams and their families, issuing to each senior athlete a plaque commemorating their varsity experience. Two especially deserving athletes would each receive a $500 scholarship. The club also founded the Jeri and Bill Clendennen award, given each year to an outstanding senior athlete. In 2008 the Fathers’ Club dedicated a memorial monument and flagpole to honor Patchogue-Medford alumnus, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, and Hall-of-Fame honoree U.S. Navy Seal Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy.
The community owes a great debt of gratitude to the Fathers’ Club for its vital role in developing the Patchogue-Medford athletic program, Raider Pride and the entire school district into the powerhouse it is today.