Friday, 08 January 2010 00:00
After four years leading the Port Washington Youth Activities, President Bill Omeltchenko has turned over the helm to Anthony (“Tony”) Cavallaro.
Omeltchenko led PYA during a crucial period of explosive growth in its programs. PYA participation has grown over 20 percent in the last four years and there are now over 3,200 participants in its programs. During that period, PYA also added wrestling, field hockey, roller hockey and several other sports. The growth in girls’ participation in PYA’s programs also has been remarkable. Girls now participate in record numbers in basketball, field hockey, lacrosse and softball, and can enjoy the same opportunities for athletic development and success as their male counterparts. Omeltchenko’s legacy of inclusion — boys and girls, very talented to less talented — will be lasting. Omeltchenko also will be remembered for successfully navigating the financial crisis of the past two years and helping ensure that PYA remains a vibrant heart of the Port Washington community. Omeltchenko developed close ties with organizations and businesses in town, which also helped Lions Field remain as one of the best youth sports facilities on Long Island, including its new field house office, parking lot, and pesticide free turf program.
During his presidency, Omeltchenko helped establish closer ties with the sports programs at Weber Middle School and Schreiber High School. Omeltchenko recognized that PYA’s programs should be feeders for those teams and helped develop clinics and other activities that introduced the upper school coaches to PYA’s athletes and vice versa. Omeltchenko also helped increase volunteerism amongst Port Washington’s teens through clinic participation, officiating, and coaching developmental programs.
Omeltchenko will remain as an active member of the PYA board, including serving as co-commissioner of the PYA Basketball Program. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve our community and board of directors as president of PYA. The generosity of so many families, local businesses, and charitable organizations has helped us manage the significant increase in the number of children and families in our programs. I cannot think of anybody more deserving of leading PYA over the next few years than Tony Cavallaro, who has the wisdom, patience, and leadership skills to provide the children of Port Washington with the best possible experience in youth sports.”
Cavallaro has been involved in PYA since 2003 when his oldest child began playing baseball, and his participation has only expanded over time. Cavallaro has coached baseball since 2003 and basketball since 2004. In 2007, Cavallaro took responsibility for the girls’ softball program as commissioner where his daughters have played since they were in first grade. The girls’ team was encouraged to participate for the first time this past summer in the prestigious Williamsport tournament, with the hopes of one day making it all the way to Pennsylvania. Cavallaro has also coordinated the girls’ third/fourth grade basketball program. Cavallaro joined the PYA Board in 2006, has served on various committees, including as PYA Safety Director, and became board secretary in 2008. He now begins a two-year term as president.
Cavallaro hopes to continue to build on and maintain all the accomplishments by those who preceded him and helped make PYA into the organization it is today. Cavallaro will focus on helping increase communication with players and families, emphasizing leadership at all levels, ensuring teamwork and good sports conduct by all. Cavallaro is focused on creating a quality environment for all participants to succeed and enjoy their experience: “I would like to continue to build our developmental programs for all sports, increase our coordination with the local public schools and colleges to help provide clinics to our players and role models for our children. Our coaches, managers and commissioners must have the right tools and training to provide top quality instruction to our players, increase sportsmanship, respect for each other and, through our sports programs, provide leadership opportunities for our children.” Cavallaro and the PYA Board of Directors thank Bill Omeltchenko for his dedicated leadership and devotion to the youth of Port Washington.