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Six Port Teams Play To Strike Out Cancer

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 games, all played on the fields at Guggenheim Elementary, featured the girls’ softball team from Weber and the softball team (they played twice) from Schreiber. The boys’ baseball team from Weber and both junior varsity and varsity teams from Schreiber participated. Teams from Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Mineola and Herricks were their opponents, throughout the day, which began at 9 a.m. and lasted past 6 p.m. Parents staffed refreshment stands and tee-shirt stands to raise funds. The athletes had been issued pledge cards to sell to friends, relatives and neighbors as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer ACS initiative.

Boys’ coaches who supported the day’s program were Matt Holzer (varsity) and his assistant, Joe DelGais, junior varsity head Phil Spotteck and Weber’s Derrick Novinski.  Eric Sutz coached the girls’ varsity, assisted by Patty Borzon. Weber’s participating coach was Rich Miglietta.

Against a backdrop of the Coaches vs. Cancer cards that had been attached to the fences and backstops, and pink streamers and balloons, Port Superintendent Kathleen Mooney threw out the first ball, a symbolic pink softball. Dr. Mooney was impressed with the event, her first one as Superintendent, though she’s been in the district for 13 years. “I’m very proud of our coaches and our students in getting involved in such a good cause,” she said. “It speaks well of our community that they’re giving back.”

Stephanie Joannon, Port’s Athletic Director, was also at Guggenheim and was thrilled with the turnout. “The big thing is bringing in the three levels of our baseball and softball teams,” she said. “It’s a great day of softball and a great day of baseball for a great cause.”

Schreiber Principal Ira Pernick was also impressed. “This speaks well of a community that guides kids to being civic-minded and philanthropic,” he added as he watched the games with his family. “I’m always very proud of the students and their hard work and dedication to a larger purpose.”

Parents Lee Anne Vetrone-Timothy, Georgine Herzwig and Beth Horn were the key organizers of the event. “On a beautiful day for baseball and softball,” Vetrone-Timothy enthusiastically said, “the Port Washington community is taking a huge swing to combat cancer.” Vetrone-Timothy, who is also a member of the Port Washington Education Foundation’s board of directors, added, “Strike Out Cancer is a true collaborative effort by the coaches, our coordinators and our parent volunteers.”