New York State Senator Mario R. Mattera (2nd Senate District) and Town of Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim are teaming up to honor our community heroes with a free baseball and softball clinic for male and female players between the ages of 6 and 18. This fun event will be run by local school coaches and 10 former Major League Baseball players from the Mets, Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox, Tigers, Dodgers, Pirates, Blue Jays, and Phillies.
The clinic will be held on Sunday, August 21st at Daniel J. Flynn Memorial Park, which is located at 29 Old Commack Road in Commack, from 10:00 AM through 1:15 PM. Lunch will be available for families and guests during the clinic and players will have lunch after.
The event will include former Major League Baseball legends Frank Catalanotto, Art Shamsky, Oreste Marrero, John Doherty, Sal Agostinelli, Frank Tepedino, Fred Cambria, Adam Greenberg and Don DeMola. These former players will provide instruction to the young players at various stations throughout the day.
Additionally, the first 500 registered participants will receive Rawlings MLB baseballs provided courtesy of Major League Baseball. A photo booth will also be set up to create a complimentary baseball card for each participant.
As a special component, the Heros 4 Our Heroes foundation will be honored for serving our military, fire, police and medical heroes since September 11th, 2001.
"I am so excited to join Supervisor Wehrheim in honoring our community heroes with a free clinic for our youths. Our American heroes deserve to be celebrated and the Daniel J. Flynn Memorial Park, which honors a member of the community who was killed in action during the Vietnam War, is the perfect place to do so. To do so while also honoring Smithtown-based Heros 4 Our Heroes foundation for all the charitable work they have done is the perfect combination. It is our hope that the young athletes who attend will be inspired by their sacrifice, commitment and duty, and that their interaction with the players and coaches who are participating will enhance them both on and off the field,” stated Senator Mattera.
“I want to thank Senator Mattera and his staff for coming up with this truly memorable idea to give to the community. This is what Flynn Memorial was created for and I think Danny would agree. It gives me a great sense of joy to facilitate the opportunity for local boys and girls to learn from baseball’s legends and our own community coaches. Moreover, we’re honoring Donato Panico and his incredible foundation Heros 4 Our Heroes, who have done magnificent work helping veterans and first responders for two decades. I’d highly encourage families to register their kids for this unbelievable occasion,” said Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.
Any resident who wishes to register a player or players is asked to click here to register. Registrations are limited so it is important that every player who wishes to participate registers early.
Heros 4 Our Heroes was started by the Panico family, owners of Panico’s Community Market in Smithtown, following the terror attacks of 9/11. To help, they loaded up a mobile catering truck full of food from their market in Smithtown and drove to Ground Zero. They cooked for 12 straight days at the World Trade Center site and have continued to provide free meals to first responders and frontline workers for 21 years. They provide over 3,000 heros to firefighters, policemen and veterans every September 11th, distribute turkey dinners on Thanksgiving and served special dinners for Christmas at the VA Medical Center.
“Since September 11th, 2001, the Panico’s have served as an inspiration to the people of Smithtown by serving thousands of complimentary meals to frontline workers at hospitals, nursing homes, veterans facilities and dozens of other entities to honor the thousands of heroes who serve us every day. I am proud to join with Supervisor Wehrheim to show this special organization what they mean to our community and to thank the Panico family for all they do,” added Senator Mattera.