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Jericho Athletic Association Holds Annual Picnic

On Saturday morning, June 9, the barbecues by Zorn’s Catering Service were set up in anticipation of a big turnout for the community tradition of the Jericho Athletic Association’s (JAA) Annual Picnic during its baseball and softball playoffs. By late morning the food was cooking and the playoff games were under way. During the day exciting games were constantly being played on the Jericho High School baseball fields.

This annual picnic is one of Jericho’s favorite community activities, with hundreds of Jericho residents in attendance during the day. Zorn’s was kept very busy serving up an unlimited supply of hamburgers, hotdogs and an assortment of chicken.

The younger children in attendance enjoyed the various rides that were set up in the outfields and the cotton candy and popcorn machines were running the whole day. A special thanks goes out to CampSpecialist.com for providing delicious ices.

Bret Pearlman, co-director of girls’ softball and JAA board member, organized a relay race and game program during the day along with the girls championship games and awards ceremony.

Joel Sweetbaum, JAA president, thanked everyone for coming. He extended his gratitude to the Jericho School Board, along with Henry Grishman, superintendent of schools, and all the school district’s administrators, for their continued support of our various sport programs.

Oyster Bay Town Receiver of Taxes, James J. Stefanich, representing the TOB executive board, thanked the JAA for everything it does for the children of Jericho. Sweetbaum extended his thanks for the wonderful support the town provides the JAA.

Sweetbaum also introduced everyone on the JAA board: Allen Algaze, Chet Bogdan, Jon Gelbwaks, Lowell Citron, Lisa Goren, Lisa Rothstein, Bret Perlman, Jack Schnitt, Robyn Levy, Michael Feinberg, Andrew Marshall, Craig Snyder, Marc Weiner, Ike Goldstein, David Simon, and Harold Wanderman. Through these individual’s tireless efforts and dedication to the community, as well as all coaches and division heads, the JAA provides a sports program featuring baseball, softball, soccer and basketball for the children of Jericho.

Harold Wanderman, JAA secretary, presented a plaque from the JAA to Chet Bogdan, a board member, who, after 15 years of dedicated service, is retiring from the board. Bogdan was responsible for creating and supporting the Jaasports.org website and will certainly be missed.

Sweetbaum was also presented with a plaque in appreciation of his 13 years as a board member. Sweetbaum will be stepping down this coming year from his position as president, but will be remaining on the board. Wanderman thanked Sweetbaum for his hard work, dedication and leadership of the JAA.

In the last few years the JAA has instituted many new and innovative programs. Developmental programs for soccer, baseball and basketball for younger players has been very well received and attended. Travel programs have grown to over 40 teams with 500-plus kids participating. The JAA Gala Baseball Dinner last November, honoring the baseball program, was successful once again.

The JAA is one of only a few sports associations on Long Island that has put in place an AED/CPR program with 15 defibrillators on the fields and over 300 coaches and parents trained in its use. The Jammin’ Jayhawks program offers children who have special needs the opportunity to participate in organized sports not otherwise available to them, allowing these children to play sports in a comfortable environment. The success of this program can be seen on the smiles of the kids participating, as well as the 50-plus high school volunteers that come down each week to buddy up with them.

The day was successful, and the JAA tradition of putting on a picnic for residents will continue next year. The JAA would like to thank the following people and organizations for their participation in the baseball, softball, soccer, basketball intramural and travel programs:

-The hundreds of children who play on the various intramural and travel teams, as well as all the parents and grandparents who cheer them on.

-Coaches who volunteer their time.

-Division heads who spend countless hours running their divisions.

-All the sponsors for their incredible support.

-The high school students who volunteer their time for the Jammin’ Jayhawks special needs program.

-The Jericho Fire District for their support of the JAA’s AED/CPR initiative.

-The Town of Oyster Bay and the Jericho School District for allowing JAA programs to play on their fields and in their gyms.