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Betty Brey monument unveiling

Some highlights from Saturday's unveiling of the Betty Mullen Brey statue unveiling in Weissport Park:

• Betty Mullen Brey was born in Weissport in 1931 to Charles and Evadna Mullen. She had four brothers and enjoyed sports like baseball and basketball, both predominantly boys' sports at the time. So her father encouraged her to take up swimming. She graduated from Lehighton High School, then Purdue University in 1953 where she was a member of the swim team. She also served in the U.S. Army as an officer. She married Paul of Lehighton and took a job while training as a physical education teacher while training for the 1956 Olympics.• Her brother Dean, who is now 92, said she kicked a football just like a boy. Although their father introduced her to swimming, he takes some of the credit for her success. He said he subscribed to Sports Illustrated magazine as a boy and on the cover was a picture of a New York Swimming Team. She began making twice-a-week trips to New York City to train with the Womens Association of New York team.• Dr. Keith "Jake" Boyer, Ruth Bush, Sandy Putkowski and Tom Mullen planned the event.• Fifth-grade student Mylee Houser sang the national anthem. So impressed were the main participants of the program that they encouraged her to close the program with additional songs. She sang "God Bless America" and "America the Beautiful."• Although it's been about 60 years since Betty Mullen Brey called Weissport home, many who attended Saturday's program remembered her, including committee members Boyer and Putkowski. Gene Kershner, president of Weissport Borough Council, had lived only a few doors away from her on Franklin Street. He choked up when he gave his comments.• Barbara Zimmerman of Franklin Township recalled how Betty Mullen taught her to swim. Zimmerman said her father took her to Graver's Pool in Lehighton when she was in first grade. She didn't know how to swim. "In two days time she taught me how to swim," said Zimmerman. "That was part of her character, helping others."Zimmerman said that by third or fourth grade, Mullen was swimming back and forth across the pool. "That's the way she was, always pushing herself," she said.* Eunice Hearn, lay pastor at Jacob's UCC Church in Weissport, gave the invocation and benediction. "May we emulate her commitment to her community and her family in our everyday life."