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PYA Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The induction of two new members into the Port Washington Youth Activities Hall of Fame highlighted PYA’s 50th Anniversary Dinner Dance on June 14 at the North Hempstead Country Club.

Billy Omeltchenko and the late Steve “Zack” Zaccherio were the inductees. This was PYA’s 23rd annual Hall of Fame ceremony.  Omeltchenko, who has been on the board of directors since 1998 and also served as PYA President from 2005-2009, was elated to receive the Hall of Fame designation. “I was so thrilled and honored to be part of the festivities and share the evening with family, friends, and supporters of PYA,” he said.

Zaccherio, who passed away at 57 in January after a brief illness, was also on the board of directors and served as a Port Washington Police Commissioner for 9 years. He is credited with being instrumental in the rebuilding of Lions Field and helping to revitalize PYA in the 80’s. Zaccherio’s wife, Connie, and three of his four children accepted the award in his memory. All four of Zaccherio’s children played in PYA programs.

Omeltchenko, a Great Neck North High star in baseball, basketball and soccer, later attended Princeton and captained the basketball team. He also played some professional basketball after graduating in 1978. His three children were also active participants in PYA sports.

“It was a great night to honor two very special people,” said PYA President Tony Cavallaro of the two new Hall of Famers. “It was also great to celebrate PYA’s 50th anniversary. With a record crowd in attendance (almost 400), PYA is so lucky to have such great friends to pay tribute to Billy and Zack. Both have done so much over the years to make PYA what it is today.”

PYA is a nonprofit program that runs 18 major sports programs year round for both boys and girls, with over 3500 participants. The dinner, its chief fundraising event, also included a local business supported silent auction. PYA also runs two-week summer camps in July for baseball, basketball and lacrosse. In August, PYA will send two teams to play at the Hall of Fame in upstate Cooperstown.

News

Gould A. ‘Stretch’ Ryder III, accomplished sailor, pilot, businessman, civic leader, and steward of the beautiful waterfront of Port Washington, passed away Oct. 24 at The Amsterdam at Harborside Hospice Center in Port Washington.

Stretch, as he was known to all, was well known as part of the crew on Ted Turner’s “Courageous” when it won the America’s Cup in 1977. Turner stayed in touch and visited Stretch last week.

Stretch’s life was marked by numerous personal contributions and accomplishments.

Parents concerned about classroom sizes spoke up at the Port Washington Board of Education meeting, as the board passed an approval of the larger sizes.

Parents spoke of class sizes at the district’s elementary being in the mid 20s, an amount they felt compromised the quality of their children’s education.

“The board of education changed our children’s education for the worse,” said one mother of larger average class sizes the board had approved last year. The comment drew clapping from the audience.


Sports

The Port Washington Soccer Club has presented Schreiber High School graduate and captain of the Port Washington Blue Knights, Cameron Boroumand, with the annual $1,000 Joe Cohen Scholarship.

The award, which has been presented annually for over 10 years, was established by the Port Washington Soccer Club to honor Joseph Cohen, a gifted athlete who attended college on a soccer scholarship. He went on to achieve outstanding success, first academically, and then in his professional life.  He gave his time fully and with great heart to innumerable charitable endeavors.

The tough and talented Port Washington volleyball team defeated Hicksville at an away game this past Friday in all three sets.

With strong returning players who also play on club teams year round, the Port Washington team plays with a certain level of chemistry. Megan Murphy and Kelly Nardone led the way with 12 assists and Mia Walker had six kills.


Calendar

Schreiber Symphony Orchestra - November 6

Port Summer Show - November 6

Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington Meeting - November 7


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