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David and Mary Vannicelli collection of King of Prussia Football Association records


Held at: King of Prussia Historical Society [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the King of Prussia Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

In 1956 David E. Vannicelli (1926-2009) and Mary Appolonia Vannicelli (1927-2009) co-founded the King of Prussia Indians, a youth-oriented athletics program offering supervised competitive football games and related activities, such as cheerleading, within a program that supported scholastic achievement and positive character development. The group was formally organized as the King of Prussia Football Association (KFPA) in 1960, and incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1963. Around 2011, Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. took over the league of which KPFA was a part. It is a common practice for the youth teams associated with Pop Warner to have the same mascot as their school district. Because of this, the board members of the football association voted to change its name to the Upper Merion Viking Youth Football Association in 2013.

It was the habit of David and Mary Vannicelli to personally pay the registration fees for many young athletes who wished to participate in the sports program but could not afford to do so. After David and Mary Vannicelli died in 2009, their daughter, Sandy Newstein, created the Vannicelli Foundation to provide registration funds to children. The Vannicellis were also honored by the football association, who named the football field in Heuser Park (Upper Merion, Pennsylvania) after them.

In 2005, the King of Prussia Football Association reflected on the history of the organization: "the Indians have grown from a first season of play in a cow pasture, to a significant youth athletics organization that teaches boys and girls of our community the principles of good character development, responsibility, sportsmanship, fair play, leadership, respect for rules, regulations and other people. They also learn the importance of achievement in their scholastic activities. These objectives are reinforced by providing supervised, competitive football and cheerleading activities within a program that promotes good character development. Providing a positive experience and proper molding to our future young men and women is our primary goal and winning is secondary. It is intended that the KPFA be community-oriented, and that it shall warrant the stewardship of the community in terms of time, talent and financial support on behalf of the children participants."


Quoted text from: King of Prussia Football Association. "History." 2005. Accessed on June 9, 2014.

The collection consists of administrative and financial records, newspaper clippings, event planning materials, game programs, photographs, issues of the football association's newsletter, team yearbooks, a playbook, and awards. A small amount of material pertains to the Vannicellis and the Vannicelli Foundation.

Administrative records include the football association's board meeting minutes, various versions of the organization's by-laws and constitution, and other materials. The photographs depict football games, players, teams, events, David and Mary Vannicelli, and other related subjects. Some negatives are present among the photographs.

Gift of Bob and Fran Littlewood, 2014.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact King of Prussia Historical Society directly for more information.

King of Prussia Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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