Thursday, 25 June 2009 14:12
On May 30, with much appreciation from Syosset Baseball Association and the family of Michael Wolkis, the field traditionally known as Lewis Lane field at the end of Edna Drive was renamed Michael Lewis Wolkis Field in memory of Michael Wolkis who passed away in November after being hit by a car on Halloween afternoon.
Those involved wish to thank Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, Town of Oyster Bay Director of Operations Andrew Rothstein and Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Chris Coschignano, for making this day a reality in the community to remember Michael.
In the planning stages for 7 months and requesting that Michael’s sister be able to attend when she completed her year’s work at a nearby upstate university, the day finally arrived with sunny skies as fitting as the weather should only have been for this day. Michael’s parents, sister, grandparents and close relatives as well as friends and the Syosset Baseball Association community assembled in the court of Edna Drive on the outskirts of the soon-to-be-named Michael Lewis Wolkis field for the rededication ceremony.
President of Syosset Baseball Association Rob Jolson opened up the event with opening remarks, welcoming everyone and then introducing a few of Michael’s friends presenting the colors for the Pledge of Allegiance and The Star-Spangled Banner. The-Star Spangled Banner was sung by Syosset’s own Holly Roselle who has been singing at the Memorial Day All-Star games for years as well as attending American Idol Camp in the hopes of being the next American Idol.
After Holly’s singing, Jolson introduced Michael’s sister, Melissa, who is president of the Miles for Smiles for Michael Lewis Wolkis Foundation. Melissa reflected on her years with her brother and what this day means to their family. She then introduced Michael’s close family members to say a few words as well. Then Mr. Jolson introduced Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto who took over the ceremony.
The field was officially renamed Michael Lewis Wolkis Field and the first game commemorating the renaming was The Wolkis Warriors, managed by Michael’s father, Jerry, with Michael’s cousin Michael, age 5, on The Wolkis Warriors, taking on Zach’s Slacks. Venditto threw out the ceremonial first pitch to christen the new field naming and with that, everyone was invited to help themselves to Oreo Snack packs, Michael’s favorite cookie, along with Gatorade to take with them for the afternoon and wherever the baseball games throughout the day might take them.
The family has setup a Foundation named Miles of Smiles Foundation, Inc. and donations are always welcomed. Money raised through the foundation goes to awarding scholarships, furthering neurological research and giving sports equipment to less fortunate children. Information on this foundation can be found on www.syossetbaseball.org.