HON. EDOLPHUS TOWNS of new york in the House of Representatives - 2005
Mr. Speaker, I rise to acknowledge Arthur ``Butch'' Niles.
Arthur H. Niles was born and raised in Brooklyn's Bedford Stuyvesant
village, where just about the entire village raised him. ``Butch'' as
family and friends lovingly know him, was born smack dab in the middle
of 14 children, parented by Anton and Lillian Niles.
He attended P.S. 44, J.H.S. 35 and Boy's High School. Since he was an outstanding
athlete, his basketball skills helped him earn the Four Friends'
scholarships to Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia where
he captained the team his entire 4 years. Mr. Niles graduated from the
Virginia Union University with Bachelors degree in Sociology as well as
achieved lifetime membership to the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
After a stint in the Eastern Professional Basketball League,
playing for the Scranton Miners, a minor league team of Boston Celtics,
``Butch'' return to Bedford Stuyvesant. Along with a few of his
brothers and the community friends, he organized the original legendary
``Soul in The Hole'' Basketball tournament. This activity became a
sports and cultural extravaganza for youth and their families that
occurs every summer and features African Dancers, drummers, poetry
readings and great ball games.
Butch has always had a revolving respect with the people of central
Brooklyn, especially the youth. He always felt that the power of the
people could be realized most effectively by fostering a mutually
trusting relationship with the youth.
After meeting Lucille Rose in the early 1970s, Arthur is credited for
organizing the first Bedford Stuyvesant Central Youth Council, Inc. He
met George Glee and Margo Butts at Vanguard Urban Improvement
Association Inc., where he was employed as a Coordinator. Arthur worked
with the young men and Margo worked with the young ladies and together
they improved the lives of thousands of young people, many of whom went
on to be accountants, teachers, union leaders and other professionals.
Mr. Niles is in his 26th year with the agency, during his tenure he has
placed over 500 youth from Bedford Stuyvesant in primarily Historically
Black Colleges and Universities, developed a culinary School and
created the safe Passage for central Brooklyn teens.
He developed 21 units of affordable housing through the 1661 Macon
Houses L.P and manages another 105 units in Bedford Stuyvesant. Other
developments include SUNY Downstate Medical Satellite and Interfaith
Medical Center. He is a member of Community Board #3 serving on the By-
law's, Land Use and Economic Development committees. He is also a
member of Bedford Stuyvesant Economic and Physical Development task
force. For his outstanding devotion to community service Butch has
received numerous awards over the years like the Community Leadership
Award from the Borough President, the Continuous Service Award from
Omega Psi Phi, the Youth Development Award from the Mayor's Office, and
the Businessman of the year '04 from the Republican Congressional
Arthur and his wife Margo have 2 grown children. His hobbies include
travel, collecting jazz, playing golf and tennis and of course watching
Mr. Speaker, Arthur ``Butch'' Niles has continuously worked
towards improving the lives of the youth of the community as well as
his commitment and generosity in helping others has made him more than
worthy of our recognition today.
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Butch Niles, will be inducted into the Virginia Union University Sports Hall of Fame. An announcement breakfast is scheduled to be held in September on the campus of Virginia Union University. The school will be celebrating its first Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in 17 years. Making up for lost time, the school will induct some 22 former student-athletes, along with Mr.Niles.
Butch was also inducted into the Rucker Pros Hall of Fame this past August at ceremonies held at Riverbank State Park.