Player Spotlight

There are people out there who everyone knows, we call them celebrities. Then there are people
out there who everyone should know. People who can enlighten you, amuse you, or somehow
improve your life. These are the people we all want to meet. The trick is finding them.
It occurs to me that there are several people like this in our bocce league, and they may be people
you have yet to meet due to the size of our league. So, with the intention of fostering
camaraderie and togetherness within our not-so-small bocce league, I would like to point a
spotlight on players with interesting stories. Starting with those people you may not know but
should know. Let’s call them Turbo Bocce Celebrities.

If you see one of these people at bocce, make sure you stop and say hi. They are the kind of
people you want to know and they are always friendly.
Our first player spotlight shines on Kate Gillen, from team Opportunity Knocks. I get along well
with Kate because she loves Syracuse as much as I do. The difference between the two of us is
that she puts her money where her mouth is.

Here is a picture of Kate from THIS Post-Standard article

Now, as a short tangent, I have to say that I believe everyone should think the city they live in is
the best city in the world. In the old (Oregon Trail) days, you were stuck living where you were
born because traveling meant spending months forging rivers and watching everyone in your
family die of tuberculosis. But today you can travel practically anywhere with a few hundred
bucks and a couple hours on a plane. That being said, there is no reason not to live in the
city that you love.

Of course, no matter where you live, it’s not always easy to stay positive at all times. We are all
human, and life can be hard, so sometimes we need a reminder of just how good things are. The
Turbo Bocce spotlight is on Kate Gillen because she is very good at reminding you why
Syracuse is a great city to live in. She is the owner of Sampling Syracuse Food Tours. The food
tours are a mix of walking around downtown Syracuse and stopping at the best restaurants for
tastings of delicious food and drinks, all the while learning about Syracuse’s fascinating history.
Being a resident of Syracuse, the stops on the tour are most likely familiar to you. However,
even if you have visited each downtown establishment numerous times, I guarantee Kate can
show you something you have never seen before, and make you look at the same streets and
buildings you have seen for years in a whole new way. She is simply the best at reinvigorating
people’s appreciation for our great city.

And here is a picture of Kate playing bocce with us.

I love that the person behind Sampling Syracuse Food Tours is in our league because I love the
idea of people in our league getting special deals, and special access to things that other people
cannot. There is no one better at giving you a new outlook on Syracuse and the revitalization
downtown than Kate. As I said, she can take something you have seen your entire life and make
you see it in a whole new way.

Although her website,, is a great source for food tour information,
the best source for both tour information and good old fashion conversation, is Kate herself.
Next time you are at bocce, look for her, and when you see her stop and say hi. You will come
away with a new friend who just so happens to be very well connected with all the best food and
drinks Syracuse has to offer, and that is not a bad thing.