June 2004

Tom Haney -
Fitness Guru, Health Promotion Specialist

by Joseph H. RADDER

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Regular readers of Living Prime Time will recognize Tom Haney's name and picture. His column on
Fitness and Healthy Living appears monthly in this magazine. In addition, he appears from time to time on the Living Prime Time radio and TV programs, and has a weekly conversation with Dan Neaverth on WWKB Radio. He's one of our region's best-known authorities on these important subjects.

As Executive Director of the Village Glen Tennis and Fitness Club in Williamsville, founded in 1982 with Tom LaPenna, Haney heads up what, to the visitor, is a surprisingly huge facility. There are eight outdoor tennis courts in the summer, ten indoor courts in the winter, plus what is probably one of this area's largest exercise rooms, with all types of equipment. In addition there's massage therapy and physical therapy. Indeed, Village Glen has a very large staff, each member skilled in his or her own specialty.

Nobody could be happier in his work than Tom Haney. "It is what I have always dreamt of and have always wanted to do," he says with a big smile.

Busy as he is in helping people stay well and fit, Tom Haney does a lot of volunteer work and serves on a number of boards of directors. He is a Governor Pataki appointee to the New York State Osteoporosis Advisory Council, was recently named to the board for Western New York Wellness Works, is a Steering Committee member of the Western New York/Rochester Osteoporosis Resource Center, is a volunteer trainer and certified coach for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's "Team In Training", is a certified Spinning and BodyPump Instructor, and lectures frequently to business groups, athletes, coaches, physicians and other health care providers, fire fighters, law enforcement officers and many others. He has made presentations on exercise, health maintenance, disease management, health care costs, cardiac rehab, lifestyle and longevity and many other subjects to numerous groups both locally and in other parts of the country.

He has been Physical Coordinator for the Buffalo Sabres, Conditioning Consultant for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Stallions, Training Consultant for the New York State Ski Racing Association, coach for the New York State Championship Power Lifting team and strength coach for Canisius College football.

What's more, for several years he was co-host of "Talk Food/Talk Health" on WGR Radio, was chairperson of the Canisius College Masters in Sports Administration Advisory Committee, was co-creator of the "Fitness for Everyone" program for the physically challenged and co-creator of one of Western New York's first cardiac rehabilitation programs. In addition, he has trained numerous national level, world class and Olympic level athletes, including Don Reinoudt, winner of "The World's Strongest Man" contest. As if this were not enough, he has also been an agent for a number of professional athletes and was a competitive body builder and power lifter in his youth.

G. Thomas Haney Jr. was born on August 14, 1947 in Buffalo. His father, George Haney worked for the Ford Motor Company for many years at its Woodlawn Stamping Plant. His mother, Margaret Healy Haney was a teacher in the Maryvale School system. Tom has two sisters, Mary Ann Burgos, a PhD and a recently retired teacher and Margaret Bevan, a talented photographer who loves farming.

Tom went to elementary school at Christ the King in Snyder, high school at Bishop Neumann in Williamsville and attended LeMoyne College in Syracuse and SUNY at Buffalo.

His childhood memories are pleasant ones. He was proud to say, "I am Western New York born and bred. This is my home." Clearly he loves his parents and likes to talk about how supportive they were to him and his sisters, serving as excellent role models. "My mother was very education oriented and my father was very hard-work oriented. That gave us a strong work ethic."

Tom Haney and Constance McCue were married in 1968. They have three adult children.
Sean and his wife Jill live in Lockport and Sean works with his Dad at the Village Glen as a personal trainer and group exercise leader. Katherine and her husband, David Baldwin, live in Panama City Beach Florida, where she is an assistant manager at Peoples First Bank, an aerobics instructor and marathon runner. Katie worked with Tom at the Village Glen for nearly nine years. Caroline, the youngest, lives in Los Angeles, California, where she is vice president of programming and an "on-air personality" for NGTV.

As one might expect, Tom's recreation involves physical activity. "I love to run and train," he said. "I enjoy scuba diving and competing in road races and, at age 53, I ran my first marathon- the 26.2 mile Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, D.C."

As you might expect from such an accomplished person, Tom Haney has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He received the Community Service Award from SUNY at Buffalo School of Health Related Professions. He was named Volunteer of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and was given the Community Service award by "Be Active" Erie County.

"It's fun for me to be involved with people," Tom says. "It's a genuine pleasure for me to work with people who want to get well or perform better and watch them change. I've always believed that it is what you do that determines what you become. It's not just what you know but what you do with what you know that gives you the power to change."

Indeed Tom Haney has made the most of what he has learned and is doing his part to protect and improve the health and well-being of his fellow Western New Yorkers

It's good to know that so many organizations are taking advantage of his talents.

Joseph H. Radder, a frequent contributor to Living Prime Time, is author of a new book, “Young Jesus, the Missing Years”. For more information, phone 1-888-280-7715 or visit www.1stbooks.com


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