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PYA Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The induction of two new members into the Port Washington Youth Activities Hall of Fame highlighted PYA’s 50th Anniversary Dinner Dance on June 14 at the North Hempstead Country Club.

Billy Omeltchenko and the late Steve “Zack” Zaccherio were the inductees. This was PYA’s 23rd annual Hall of Fame ceremony.  Omeltchenko, who has been on the board of directors since 1998 and also served as PYA President from 2005-2009, was elated to receive the Hall of Fame designation. “I was so thrilled and honored to be part of the festivities and share the evening with family, friends, and supporters of PYA,” he said.

Zaccherio, who passed away at 57 in January after a brief illness, was also on the board of directors and served as a Port Washington Police Commissioner for 9 years. He is credited with being instrumental in the rebuilding of Lions Field and helping to revitalize PYA in the 80’s. Zaccherio’s wife, Connie, and three of his four children accepted the award in his memory. All four of Zaccherio’s children played in PYA programs.

Omeltchenko, a Great Neck North High star in baseball, basketball and soccer, later attended Princeton and captained the basketball team. He also played some professional basketball after graduating in 1978. His three children were also active participants in PYA sports.

“It was a great night to honor two very special people,” said PYA President Tony Cavallaro of the two new Hall of Famers. “It was also great to celebrate PYA’s 50th anniversary. With a record crowd in attendance (almost 400), PYA is so lucky to have such great friends to pay tribute to Billy and Zack. Both have done so much over the years to make PYA what it is today.”

PYA is a nonprofit program that runs 18 major sports programs year round for both boys and girls, with over 3500 participants. The dinner, its chief fundraising event, also included a local business supported silent auction. PYA also runs two-week summer camps in July for baseball, basketball and lacrosse. In August, PYA will send two teams to play at the Hall of Fame in upstate Cooperstown.