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Port Coaches Who Care

Among the many Port community groups and individuals that contributed to the success of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life fundraising campaign this year, one group, Port Coaches-Who-Care, was specially honored during last weekend’s ceremonies at Schreiber High’s track.

Over 20 coaches, including Port’s Athletic Director Stephanie Joannon, were highlighted for their work with students at Schreiber and Weber Middle in coordinating and organizing their athletes to support fundraising efforts throughout the school year.

“This was the second year in a row that Relay For Life recognized Port Coaches-Who-Care," said Relay’s co-chair Lee Anne Vetrone-Timothy. We were pleased to honor these coaches, who not only foster fine student athletes, but also build awareness, promote education and raise funds for cancer research through a variety of athletic events.  Their students gain vital life lessons about how they can make a difference in the lives of those in need in their own community.

Our coaches truly put words into action, showing by example how a person, a team, an event can make a difference, she added. It’s a great lesson for all of us. They’ve raised funds through creative athletic events and competitions all year long. The student athletes learn to think outside of themselves and to support those in need in their own backyard.  The ACS gains vital support and funds for research, advocacy and education. It’s a ‘win-win’ all around.

Schreiber’s boys varsity basketball and soccer coach Sean Dooley, one of the honorees, has a special connection to Coaches-Who-Care. “For me personally," he said, I try do as much as I can to raise money and awareness in the fight against cancer. Having lost a number of family members, including my mother, it has had a tremendous effect on my life.

"One of the highlights we have every year for basketball," he continued, is the Coaches vs. Cancer game. To see the support that we get and to see the athletes and coaches go that extra mile really reminds you of how much you can achieve when you really care about something. Being involved with the Coaches-Who-Care program is definitely the thing that I’m most proud of when it comes to our athletic program.”

In addition to Dooley and Joannon, other coaches honored were Sandra Alvarez (junior varsity girls’ assistant lacrosse coach), Lauren Bishar (girls’ junior varsity basketball), Patty Borzon (assistant varsity softball), Lisa Castaldo (assistant varsity girls’ basketball and junior varsity volleyball), Joe Del Gais (assistant varsity baseball and football), Maria Giamanco (boys’ varsity volleyball), CJ Gober (junior varsity girls’ lacrosse), Matt Holzer (varsity baseball), Scott Hosemann (assistant varsity baseball), Rich Miglietta (8th grade softball and junior varsity boys basketball), Derek Novinski (8th grade baseball), Bryan Patterson (girls’ varsity volleyball), Raquel Pisano (girls’ varsity lacrosse), Mary Romano (girls’ varsity lacrosse assistant),  Jamel Ramsay (varsity football), Phil Spotteck (junior varsity baseball), Eric Sutz (varsity girls’ volleyball, junior varsity boys’ basketball, varsity softball), Dennis Trottier (varsity basketball) and Kristina Wood (junior varsity boys’ volleyball).

Alvarez, Gober, Pisano and Romano coordinated a campaign with members of the girls’ lacrosse teams this year that raised over $3000 for the HEADstrong Foundation, an organization that supports efforts against blood cancer.