Woodhull Softball Game Raises $3K for Boy Scout Scholarships
Patrick Hannon occupied a special place in the heart of the Woodhull Intermediate School community. So when the sixth grader passed away unexpectedly last summer while attending Boy Scout camp in Rhode Island, his family, friends and teachers were absolutely devastated.
That same Woodhull community came together last weekend on the Huntington High School softball field for a game pitting teachers against parents. The event raised more than $3,000 to fund Boy Scout summer camp scholarships in Mr. Hannon's name.
Heavy overnight rains required district grounds crew members to work feverishly to get the field into playing shape in time for the first pitch at 11 a.m. Inclement weather a week earlier postponed the game. Teacher Nicole Parrett sang a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner during pre-game festivities.
Mr. Hannon's brother, Shamus threw a ceremonial first pitch strike, splitting home plate to applause. The parent's team jump out to a first inning lead before the teachers came roaring back. After nine innings of play, the teachers had secured a satisfying 21-12 win.
Teacher Cristina Anderson, a former college softball pitcher, picked up the complete game victory on the hill. Centerfielder Jason Suarez connected for several homeruns in an impressive offensive display. Second baseman Eric Triolo sealed the teacher's victory when he went to his right, backhanded a wicked ground ball headed up the middle, turned and threw a strike to first base to nab the speedy runner and end the game.
During the seventh inning stretch, teacher Paul Esposito sang George Harrison's signature song "Here Comes The Sun," popularized by The Beatles and a personal favorite of Mr. Hannon's.
Entire families turned out for the game. Jim Hannon, Patrick's father played on the parent's team. At the end of the game, Woodhull Principal Mary Stokkers presented a softball signed by each of the game's participants to the Hannon family, including Patrick's mother Deirdre and sister Brigid.
The crowd of several hundred included several members of the Huntington School Board, as well as Superintendent James W. Polansky. Many youngsters positioned themselves just beyond the outfield fence and used their baseball mitts to catch homerun balls.
"The Woodhull family was just overwhelmed with the turnout and support from the community for such a charitable cause," Woodhull Assistant Principal Jarrett Stein said. "Patrick was a wonderful, good spirited young man who really was all about giving. He believed in the Boy Scouts. If the Boy Scouts were his first love, baseball was his second love. The opportunity to put these two loves together and send some kids to Boy Scout camp in Patrick's name, I think, is a really great way to honor him and what he stood for."
A variety of refreshments and food items were sold at the game, along with special t-shirts. In addition to funding Boy Scout summer camp scholarships, proceeds from the game will also be used to purchase supplies needed by the summer campers.