On Saturday, June 12, the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island will host the "5th Annual Business Cares for Kids Sports Festival" at Cantiague Park in Hicksville, Included in the festival is its annual softball tournament; the largest charitable softball tournament on Long Island. Once again participating in the tournament will be the Columbus Lodge #2143 OSIA.
Pauline Bove, president of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Columbus Lodge #2143 OSIA (second from the right) presents Arthur Fishman, chairman of the Ronald McDonald House of LI (second from the left) with a donation for $1,000. Ed Bochynski (left), Salvatore Bove (second from the right) and Pete Gisonda (right) of the Columbus Lodge, were on hand for the presentation.
A year ago, the Columbus Lodge's softball team ("the Golden Lions") was fresh off dual victories in the Easter Seals Softball Classic and confident that winning the McDonald House softball tournament would be a mere formality. On that day the Golden Lions, a first time participant to the tournament, lost 17-7 to the eventual tournament champs, US Computer Group.
Based in Farmingdale, US Computer Group's four-year climb to the championship has motivated the Golden Lions for this year's trophy. With the Lions' starting lineup returning virtually intact, Golden Lion's power-hitting shortstop, Daron Tripoli, vowed, "We're going to win it all this year!"
Due to the Columbus Lodge Ladies Auxiliary's sponsorship (a $1,000 donation to the Ronald McDonald House), the Lodge's softball team will get a second chance at the brass ring. "We've supported the Ronald McDonald House from the very start. This is our 10th year donating money and our second year sponsoring our baseball team," said Pauline Bove, president of the auxiliary.
The Business Cares for Kids Sports Festival ("the Festival") not only hosts the largest charitable softball tournament on Long Island, it also hosts a volleyball tournament and a 1.5-mile walk-a-thon. "We are extremely optimistic that 1999 will prove to be a banner year," boasts a confident Ira Altfeder, president of the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island ("the House").
In addition, the Festival will have music, balloons, face painting for the kids, raffles, lunch (provided by the Outback Steakhouse) and, of course, Ronald McDonald. The Festival will be held throughout the day and all Long Island residents are welcome to join in the fun. The Columbus Lodge encourages all Farmingdale and Massapequa residents to experience the event.
The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island is a temporary lodging facility for seriously-ill children and their families, who must travel to area hospitals for urgently-needed medically care. These families stay at the House while their child is under a physician's care. It's a wonderful organization," said Columbus Lodge's Pete Gisonda.
"Witnessing firsthand the courage and strength with which they (the families who stay at the House) handled their child's condition, their determination in seeking the very best medical care, no matter how difficult, and watching them support one another, no matter how desperate their own circumstance, is inspiring," said Silvano LaFerlita Gullo, executive director of the House.
For more information on how your company, group or organization can become a sponsor, participant or volunteer, one may contact Silvano LaFerdita Gullo at 775-5683; or to become a member of the Columbus Lodge #2143 OSIA, one may contact Pete Gisonda at 798-3972.