Opening Day 2015 turned out to be a special one for South Colonie Youth Baseball / Girls Softball. The sun was out, the fields were ready, and it was finally time to play ball. Our annual parade kicked off the festivities as the boys and girls marched down Sand Creek Road toward the park. It was awesome to see the local businesses and neighbors come out to wave and show their support. The parade procession then made its way through the park to the Cal Ripken Field where the boys and girls, assisted by their coaches sat around the infield. The sound system was on and it was time to hear from our Co President Jeff Hellkamp.
On hand were:
Paula Mahan – Supervisor
Greg Mack – Eastern NY Babe Ruth Assistant State Commissioner
Donald Dugan – Central Area District Commissioner
Michael McLaughlin, Director for Research for Albany County Executive Dan McCoy
Joseph O’Brien, County Legislator
Richard Jacobson, Colonie Legislator
The first pitches were thrown out by our distinguished guests and the National Anthem was sung beautifully by Melissa Mele. Greg Mack was on hand to remind the crowd, “This is your program. All of it is made possible because of the volunteer support given by its parents and core board members. Get involved and keep this program going.” It rings true, because following that message, Don Dugan honored the 8u SC All-Star team that made it to the State Tournament in Rome, NY. Without the support of the community and the dedication from the parents and coaches, none of it would have been possible. It was a special moment for those kids who made that journey together to meet again in the middle of the diamond to receive a plaque and commemorative pins noting their accomplishment. It was even more special to those kids as they felt the recognition and applause from the community wash over them on this glorious day.
Once the ceremony concluded, it was time to play ball, and all the fields were buzzing with activity as teams began preparing for their upcoming games. The concession stand had full support of all volunteers and breezed through order after order. It was also great to see familiar faces and friends walking around the park again. The raffle tables were set up and there was something for everybody, from Professional Baseball game tickets to Xbox cards, movie baskets to restaurant gift cards. Not to mention the Derek Jeter plaque and Yankee seat back. Special thanks to Tricia Savoca for organizing and arranging all the amazing raffle items on hand.
This day belonged to the kids though. As volunteers we do a lot to make sure days like this are special. But it’s up to all of us as a community to continue to make South Colonie a strong program for years to come. Next time you’re down at the park, see how you can help make a difference. Volunteer and join the team.