Sansiviero Draws Crowd to Booster Club Outing
Pete Sansiviero was worried that no one would come to this year's Huntington Booster Club golf outing at Indian Hills Country Club in Northport. The retired Huntington School District physical education teacher and football coach was concerned about the turnout because the event was being held in his honor and he wanted it to be a success.
As it turned out, Mr. Sansiviero had no reason to be apprehensive as a full field of about 90 golfers teed off on the 18-hole championship course. A crowd of about 140 later filled the historic clubhouse for an extensive buffet dinner and a heartfelt and humorous speech by Mr. Sansiviero, a member of J. Taylor Finley Junior High School's founding faculty in September 1965.
Dozens of parents, current and former coaches and players and school officials were on hand, including Superintendent James W. Polansky, Director of Athletics Georgia D. McCarthy, Assistant Superintendent Joseph Giani and Huntington School Board members Tom DiGiacomo and Richard McGrath.
Past Booster Club honorees Hutch VanderSchuyt, Steve Henry, Todd Jamison and Karen Fischer were also on hand, along with 1959 Huntington alum and current state Supreme Court Justice W. Gerard Asher and legendary Blue Devil coaches Al Donofrio and Lou Giani.
"It was a great to see such a big turnout," Huntington Booster Club President Tim Pillion said. "Pete Sansiviero is a wonderful man and a popular figure in Blue Devil history. It was nice to be able to honor him in this special way."
While final figures are still be tabulated, Mr. Pillion said the event is expected to have raised as much as $20,000. Over the past six years, the Booster Club has donated about $200,000 to the athletic department, mainly through its grant program.
Golfers began arriving at mid-day to register and loosen-up on the driving range and putting green. Among the participants was former Blue Devil football coach John Paci, Jr. and his younger son, James, a former Huntington quarterback and current orthopedic surgeon at Stony Brook University Hospital.
The top two scoring foursomes included Jim McCormack, Steve Souhrada, KC Anna and Dan Steinberg and Georgia McCarthy, Steve Davis, Glen Deren and Mike Marinello. Mike Paton banged out the men's longest drive and Donna Paci hit the ball longer than any women player on the magnificent course, which features tight fairways along the shores of the majestic Long Island Sound.
In the closet-to-the-pin contest on Indian Hills' sixth hole, Mr. Jamison took honors among the men, putting the ball 7'3 from the cup. Ms. McCarthy was the closest among all women, getting within 16'2 of the pin.
Dozens of baskets stuffed with goods and gift certificates were raffled off. The dessert table proved to be a popular destination following dinner. It was jammed with an assortment of appealing treats.
Mr. Jamison took delight in giving a passionate introduction of Mr. Sansiviero, his former coach, to the big crowd. Many of the honorees former teaching and coaching colleagues were at the dinner along with a table full of family members.
Mr. Sansiviero, who taught junior high school physical education for 34 years and coached football for 18 seasons, shared a variety of personal reminisces and some funny stories. He said he found "the Huntington football player" to be fearless and full of courage, displaying a real desire "to hit."
Turnout for the golf outing was substantially larger than last year. A hardworking organizing committee did an impressive job of putting the event together and making it so successful. "It was a great day to be part of Huntington and the Booster Club," parent volunteer Julie Labella said.
Members of the Huntington High School golf team dotted the course and engaged outing participants in several different contests, raising hundreds of dollars for the Booster Club in the process.
"It was a great day as always, full of Huntington spirit and support," said PTA Council President Bari Fehrs, who is also a Booster Club volunteer. "I'm proud to be part of the Booster Club!"