The Huntington Booster Club’s annual dinner at the Head of the Bay Club last Thursday night was an upbeat affair. A large crowd of coaches, parents, alumni and friends of honoree Paul McDermott turned out to support the Blue Devil athletic program.
The fun evening was a reunion of sorts for the Huntington sports family as many different generations of former athletes and coaches came together. About 150 tickets were sold and when combined with a gorgeous 36 page journal and proceeds from a dozen raffle baskets and seven grand prizes, the dinner is expected to have raised tens of thousands of dollars, which will be plowed back into the Booster Club’s grant program.
Many past Booster Club honorees were in the audience along with Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky, Huntington High School Principal Brenden Cusack and Assistant Principals Jully Williams and Gamal Smith and Trustees Tom Galvin and Michele Kustera.
An assortment of current and former teachers and coaches and a cast of Blue Devil athletes spanning decades were also on hand for the affair. Dozens of Huntington boys’ lacrosse alumni dotted the crowd.
“Booster Club members have been relentless in their support of our student-athletes through the years and particularly in the wake of the pandemic,” Mr. Polansky said. “They clearly understand the importance of extracurricular experiences to the development of well-rounded and focused young people. We are beyond appreciative of their efforts and partnership.”
Thursday night’s affair began with a cocktail hour, including hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, continued with a delicious hot buffet meal followed by an assortment of desserts. DJ Glenn DeVeau kept the mood upbeat.
Booster Club President Joseph Mattio recounted some of the organization’s many accomplishments over the years and highlighted its future plans and priorities.
Mr. Mattio’s fellow Huntington Booster Club officers include Michele Deegan (membership/special projects), Maria Carnesi (grant coordinator), Ed McGuinness (treasurer), Patti Weber (special events/annual dinner coordinator), Erik Krisch (marketing/advertising design coordinator) and merchandise coordinators Lauren Meagher, Julie Porzio, Carolina Addeo. Associate members include Al Addeo, Tiffany Annunziata, Thomas Galvin, Dawn Switz, Joe Zink and Sharon Zink. Tim Madden serves as the organization’s summer camp director.
Mrs. Weber coordinated the dinner with the help of several executive board members. Erik Krisch designed the acclaimed journal that included many interesting historical photos along with stunning and colorful photography donated by Huntington High School alums Michael Connell and Darin Reed. Mr. McDermott’s friends, family and former players packed the journal with congratulatory messages.
The Huntington Booster Club has donated more than $1.2 million to the Blue Devil athletic program since 2007. “Thanks to the exceptional level of support we have received from the community we have been able to do some really beautiful things for our student-athletes,” Mr. Mattio said. “We plan on continuing to making a positive difference through our grant program, which is open to all sport programs.”
Plans are already being formulated for next fall’s Huntington Booster Club gala.