The fact that Port Washington Youth Activities (PYA) is celebrating its 50th year of working with area boys and girls is quite an accomplishment. Ron Henderson, its executive director for the past 20 years, also has a long history with PYA’s Lions Field that extends all the way back to 1958.
“I played in the first games ever held at the field back then when it was the Port Washington Little League,” said Henderson. “That was before the field was renovated.” The renovation, which began in 1999 and forced the PYA to relocate for two years from its Glen Lane site, now features four Little League fields and one major league field, all on pesticide-free, natural grass. During the fall, the fields are converted for lacrosse and football programs.
This is the season of anticipation. Boats are being prepared for launch, yacht clubs are going into commission all up and down Long Island Sound, and the weather is absolutely beautiful. The beginning of an active boating season on Manhasset Bay and LI Sound is just weeks away. Before the season begins, it might be a good idea to think about boat safety. Whether you are a skipper or crew, racing or out for a nice leisurely afternoon, be it sail or motor, safety should be your first priority.
An online sailing newsletter, Sail-World.com recently published some good information on this very topic. It is from the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. This is what Foundation suggests: It takes just six minutes to brief your new guests on board your boat for a day of sailing and it could save a life and/or your boat. Below is a six-minute briefing that all of us should practice to make sure the sail is fun and relaxed and safe.
On a perfect day to play a baseball game, the Schreiber High School and Weber Middle School players played six — all in support of the fight against cancer.
Dubbed Day At The Diamond Strike Out Cancer, the April 27 event continued the Port school district’s yearlong involvement in fundraising for the American Cancer Society in partnership with student athletes and their parents. The culmination of their efforts is set for Saturday, June 15, at Schreiber’s track at 7 p.m. Relay for Life will celebrate cancer survivors, remembering those who have been lost to the disease, and help raise more funds for the continued fight against cancer.
The Manhasset Bay Sportsmen’s Club recently hosted its 50th Spring Fishing Derby at the Town of North Hempstead Dock. More than 40 kids turned up to fish for flounder. Two keepers were landed: Brenden Murphy caught the first and Chris Vola the second. Both boys were awarded fishing rods and reels.
The 64th Annual Snapper Derby comes on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to noon.
There’s a song from the classic Broadway show and movie, All That Jazz, that says, “Dreams can come true again when everything old is new again.” That’s an apt description of the dream envisioned by the members of the Sands Point Golf Club several years ago that’s about to come to fruition.
The project, a complete renovation of the 1927 course originally designed by the legendary A. W. (Tilly) Tillinghast, and re-designed by noted architect Keith Foster, should be ready for its grand re-opening tournament on May 18th. Work first began last September and includes a complete new irrigation system.
Dawn Riley, executive director of Oakcliff Sailing Center, was at the Port Washington Public Library last week to discuss the behind-the-scenes news for this year’s America’s Cup. NAC’s very popular boat trips will return this season and will start in June and run through August. Registration for the boat trips is required.
The Cow Bay Cruising Association held its annual organizational meeting and awards at Manhasset Bay YC last week. Commodore Anthony Viola opened the meeting and a discussion was held on the upcoming racing schedule, Race Committee information, and other items of interest to those who race big boats each Thursday evening though the warm summer months. Last year the group connected with YachtScoring, an online scoring system that is used for major regattas throughout the United States. In addition to going online to see the final scores each week, YachtScoring has a “crew/boat board,” where interested sailors (and non-sailors) can add their name for a spot on a Thirsty Thursday boat. So if anyone out there reading this is interested in hopping on board a boat, the link to sign up is: http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=822.
Litwin, a member of the Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame, has won the International Tennis Federation World Championship, 14 United States Tennis Association National titles from 1991 to 2007 and was ranked first in the over 55 years old bracket in 2005. He grew up in Great Neck, starring at Great Neck South High in tennis and basketball and lived in Port Washington for 23 years before moving to Glenwood Landing to develop his Focus Institute.
This is the time of year that warms the hearts of sailors. Spring is here: the flowers are in bloom, trees are beginning to bud, the sun is shining and boatyard are beckoning boat owners to “come on out” and enjoy this fine weather while getting your boat ready for launch. For the next month, boatyards become the town square where friends meet fellow sailors and catch up with each other and talk of the upcoming season. It is also the time to review last year’s racing – with diminished recall of that bad mark rounding but with crystal clear retelling of an especially significant accomplishment. Cow Bay Racing, aka Thirsty Thursday, has held its organizational meeting and our frostbiters had their Long Distance Race and their outdoor BBQ. American YC Spring Series, the first regatta of the season, will start this weekend. All good things!
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. For unknown reasons, veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population. There is no cure, and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modestly extends survival.
John B. Thomson, Jr., a long-time member of our community, has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. John was the inspiration for the Manhasset Bay Fall Series, started in 1979 to promote big boat racing in Western Long Island Sound when racing conditions were the best (read good wind). John is also known around the world for his sailing/racing achievements. A few years ago, his three children organized a birthday party for their father, and the place was packed with sailors/racers who came from Newport, the west coast and international harbors to celebrate and honor this remarkable man.
Rob Weingard, a Sands Point resident and former Hofstra basketball star, is critical of the direction that youth sports has taken in this country and feels strongly that his Scottie Workouts basketball program, held twice a week in the Doctors’ Gym at the Landmark on Main street, is the right way to work with youngsters.
“Unfortunately it’s all about chasing scholarships, “ Weingard explained. “A lot of things are being done at the beginning that is not good for our kids. They play in too many sports, too many teams but we don’t teach enough. You can play on 15 teams but that doesn’t mean you’re taught anything.”
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