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THE ST MARY’S ROCKSTAR PAGEANT 2017
Photos courtesy of Paul “Sequence” Ferguson
The 2017 CHILDRENS FOUNDATION HOLIDAY PARTY AT LEONARDS
Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team – A Limitless World: third in a series
Happy New Year ! Now that the calendar has hit 2018 we are getting more excited about the May visit of the team Sports Illustrated dubbed “America’s Team”. What a team it is ! No two are alike, yet they all share a mantra of no limits, no quit. It is continuing service.
If every picture tells a story, well WWAST player Nick Freeland Clark has a story or two to tell. His middle name is Freeland, which is also tattooed on his arm. It is the name of his grand uncle who died serving during the Bataan Death March in WW2.
Prior to becoming a paratrooper with the 101st “ The Herd” he actually worked on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska. He was part of the Battle of Wanat in the Korengal Mountains in Afgahnistan were he lost his leg on june 2nd 2007. We pick up his story during his rehab in San Antonio of that year…
While in Rehab he meet some very interesting people who recognized his purple heart valor. There was the day Ted Nugent, yes that Ted, signed him out and took him to his ranch to do some shooting and target practice.
A bear of a man showed up one day to say thank you to Nick. It did not take long for Nick and “Tony Soprano” – James Gandolfini to take on a rock climbing wall !
Jim always a friend of veterans also helped promote the very first WWAST long Island visit and games in 2012. Here wearing the customized game shirt:
Nick was feeling chilly one day during rehab. Well President George W Bush decided to lend him his coat and they shared a laugh.
And there were others. Nick as you will see spread his can do, no limits to his adventures on Long Island ( Nick is from the state of Washington ). As an original member of the WWAST, Nick was coming in for the first long island visit in 2012. Upon arriving the event organizer asked what has Nick not done since being injured that he would like to do ? Right away the answer was play drums. Well the team was having a welcome event that night at Katie’s of Smithtown, a great music venue and the great George Cintron would be entertaining. So Will Bart spent the afternoon working with Nick on drums. That night in front of his teammates and supporters Nick sat down behind the kit and played Moby Dick with George and Wee on guitar and Richie Bartumioli playing bass.
Someone else heard about this remarkable team and their initial trip to NY/Long Island. He too wanted to show his support with the special 2012 shirt. The great guitarist and member of the Eagles, Joe Walsh:
Now this is no ordinary Joe. He could not make the game, but was blown away by Nick and his teammates performance. This particular picture caught his attention:
Joe wanted to thank Nick and meet him. It was all set for Joe’s show at The Paramount in Huntington. At the last moment Nick needed some medical care and could not make it. Well Joe decided to give him a get well card:
When coming in for last year’s visit Nick and teammates Josh Wege and Greg Reynolds spent a day visiting children at the Hospital for Special Surgery. It is one of their favorite things to do. Afterwards they took a patient and threw out the first pitch at the Met game. Before leaving he sampled some of the finest brews on Long Island at The Blue Point Brewery Caskfest. But before leaving NYC Nick and Greg took a great photo. Sitting on the steps of the building on Saint Marks Place that was the album cover of Led Zeppelin’s album Physical Graffiti.
Nicholas Freeland Clark: Rock and Roll Warrior
These stories are just the tip of the iceberg for Nick and his teammates and their times on Long Island. Each year just gets better and 2018 promises not just free games, but so many opportunities to just hang and meet them. The next in the series will lay out the Long Island schedule. In the meantime stay current on Facebook: WWAST NY the website www.warriorsny.com . Donors and sponsors always welcome. Proceeds after exspenses go to help fund Kidscamp where 20 children without a limb ( s ) and a parent spend a week with the team at a sports camp each year. firstname.lastname@example.org 631 840 7787
Angela’s House Walk
Angela’s House helps to raise awareness and support for children born and diagnosed as being medically frail, chronically ill or suffering from any type of life threatening condition and have limited services available to help. So the NY Sportscene Children’s Foundation was proud to walk with Angela’s House yet again for their Annual 3K Applebee’s for Angela’s House Walk at the Holtsville Ecology Center in Holbrook on September 19, 2017. Thanks to our entire team, who made it so much fun, all while raising funds for medically frail and disabled children.
A Limitless World – Second in a Series
Thanks. Giving. Thanksgiving. The two words come together out of being grateful. The members of The National Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team are grateful. They give thanks. They give of themselves. Be it to amputee children at their weeklong KidsCamp and to all they touch. Their story is a story of a world without limits. It is a kid story; it is a Long Island story.
On their visits to Long Island, they have become magnets of emotion. Laughter, amazement, joy, celebration, inspiration, and motivation. They give and the people of Long Island give right back. Team leader, Josh Wege once said we get applause all over, but there is nothing like the applause from New Yorkers and Long Islanders. Thanks. Giving.
During the visit in 2016, the opening ceremony was a mosaic of supporters and the curious all to a background of American Flags. There was a special participant that day. She met the team at the hotel that morning and rode to the game with them on the great Winters Jet Bus. She was 5 years old. Her name was Lily Bonacasa. She was with her mom, Dee, a veteran herself. Her dad, Louie “Bones” Bonacasa had heroically died in battle as a member of the Army overseas just months before. She showed up wearing a special shirt for the occasion.
When we got to the field, she helped lead us in the Pledge assisted by Jack Fenech, the Patriot Guard Riders, and yes a collection of Long Islanders. Also helping were the two beautiful children of WWAST player Ben Mitchell. Col. Mitchell then took her out on the field where she threw out the first pitch. She loved it and wanted to keep doing it over and over again.
It was a great day for everyone. Also present were members of Long Island ABATE. LI ABATE promotes motorcycle safety and giving back to the community. In addition to toy and food runs, they also have a veterans day fundraising run. They have private donors who will match 3 dollars for every one donated. Once a year, they split up the money among local veterans organizations.
At their 2017 dinner, they would be presenting a donation to The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, for all they do for the veteran community on Long Island. The NY volunteer coordinator, Joe went to the event. He sat with the Bonocasa family as the donations were announced. Then came the final one.
A local restaurant had held a fundraiser for the Bonacasa family to help them and Lily. They raised several thousand dollars. Dee then announced they felt so blessed by the outpouring of support of the Long Island veteran community. She went on to say they donated all the money to ABATE to help others. Well ABATE matched the money 3 to 1. Jim Barr, their president, then helped negotiate the purchase of a 12 passenger van. This van was given to the Northport VA to assist in giving vets rides back and forth. The Louis “Bones” Bonacasa Transport.
This was not magic. This was simply thanks and giving. The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team looks forward to seeing Lily and all the great people of Long Island when they come back to play in their only NY appearance May 19 (Huntington) and May 20 (Medford) 2018. For more details and to stay up to date www.warriorsny.org and like and share www.facebook.com/wwastny.
Save the dates, you will be thankful you did.
This is the first in a series of articles highlighting the WWAST and Long Island. In the meantime please feel free to visit the event webpage www.warriorsny.org or on facebook, www.facebook.com/wwastny and learn, like and share the event. Or call Joe Bart at 631- 840-7787.
A Limitless World
No quit. No limits. No excuses. The National Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team. Theirs is not a war story, nor a political story. Theirs is a story of a world with limits does not have to be limited. It is a kid story, it is a Long Island story.
They are a softball team like you’ve never seen. Nearly twenty veterans of the post-9/11 era have come together to form WWAST; the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team. As their name suggests, everyone on the team was injured in the line of duty and wears prosthesis of some sort. Their mission: “to raise awareness, through exhibition and celebrity softball games, of the sacrifices and resilience of our military, and highlight their ability to rise above any challenge.” They are coming back to Long Island in May 2018 for the third year in a row and fifth visit in the last 6 years.
This remarkable team that has been featured on HBO, ESPN, CBS Evening News, and Sports Illustrated, just to name a few will be playing two games. Against teams made up of first responders and local all-stars. The games are free because seeing is believing. They love Long Island and its people.
These young men live all over the country. They work, they go to school, and they have families. They have no regrets and feel blessed. Three Fridays a month they each go to their local airport headed to a common destination to play softball and spread their message. Sunday afternoons they head back home. They don’t do it for the money (when playing they get $ 70 per day). They do it because it is their calling. To help others learn what they already know, you can do anything.
They feel accepting what leads to a new normal is. The highlight of their year is a week in June. It is what much of their fundraising is about. It is called KidsCamp. Twenty amputee children and a parent spend a week at a softball camp, the team picks up all expenses. It is not because they are different, but it is because they are all so normal. HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel did a complete segment on this wonderful experience. Over two million people watched as Frank Deford told the story.
Your neighbors’ friends and family have seen it on Long Island first hand when they come to town. The games are thrilling, the celebration a joy. Local events allow everyone to say hello and meet them. They are smiling all the time. It is surprising when you thank them for their service, they thank you right back.
There are many stories to be told of Long Island and the WWAST. We will tell them in the coming months. You will laugh, you will cry, you will be proud. Here is a quick one.
How Long Island became home to a WWAST player
On the first visit, right after the team was formed in 2012, a player who lived in Atlanta came in. A 22-year-old Marine who lost both legs to an IED in Afghanistan. Like all visits, it was only for a weekend. He had met a beautiful girl. They stayed in touch. When the team came back to play in 2014, he decided he would marry that girl and start a family on Long Island. The date was set. The night before the wedding they had their rehearsal dinner. As he was preparing to leave he heard a woman screaming for help. She had been in a car accident, the car was burning and her baby was trapped inside. He ran, pulled out the seat and carried the baby to safety. He declared, “Who wouldn’t.”
They are now married with a beautiful baby girl. Living on Long Island as we all know is not cheap. He wanted to provide (if you are like everyone else, especially when you meet him, you have forgotten that he has no legs). He worked as a steam fitter’s apprentice, but he wanted to do more. He wanted to continue to serve. He wanted to be a Suffolk County Policeman. He applied and passed all the tests required of an able-bodied applicant. He entered the academy and was voted class president. This past May he graduated and was assigned to the first prescient. I am sure you all know the story. The story of Matias Ferreria. It was covered worldwide as he was the first double amputee policeman in the country. Matias loves when his WWAST teammates come to visit and celebrate on Long Island. He will be hoping you join them. By the way, in 2016 TOPPS made him his very own baseball card.
WWAST is a 503c non-profit. It is not nor has ever been affiliated with the Wounded Warrior Project. Theirs is not a world of politics or entitlement. Theirs is a world of the human condition at its very finest.
Frank Lombardo Interviews Gary U.S.Bonds at the 3rd annual Golf Classic
Video Courtesy of Joseph Conway and Helen Proimos. Images courtesy of John Abbraccianento, Paul SEQUENCE Ferguson and James Gross.
The 2015 Kid’s Holiday Party was a success with almost 1000 attendees!
Enjoy these wonderful pictures.
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New York Sportscene
The Mission of the New York Sportscene Children’s Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) not for profit charity which provides much needed support to local charities, families, Veterans and our homeless. By supporting local charities it became possible to provide immediate help to children and families in need, while supporting cutting edge technologies and research. These unique entertainment and sports fundraisers are memorable fun and bring attention to these causes and local charities supporting our Mission.
Some of the Foundation’s All Star events include New York Sportscene ‘Leonard’s Loves Children’ Annual Holiday Celebration for 750 children and their caregivers, an annual Celebrity Golf Classic; Annual Red Carpet PROM for severely ill teens; Poolside Parties FORETHEKIDS; YES WE CARE Veteran Support Program; SUNY Farmingdale Alumni Association Annual Scholarship: the Family Services of Westchester Youth Residences; the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation; Angela’s House; Cohen’s Children Medical Center; J-Bird Music for the Arts; City Meals on Wheels; Hero’s Foundation; Tomorrow’s Children; St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital; Stony Brook Children’s Hospital; Kids Just Want To Have Fun; Cancer Center for Kids; St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital Rock Star Pageant & 2018 Memorial Garden; Shriner’s Hospital for Children; Covenant House, Special Olympics, NYC Rescue Mission and Long Island Cares, among many others.
The charity was founded in 1995 by Mike Cutino, with President Fran Petito spearheading the not for profit and designing fundraisers and events which provide memorable experiences that touch hearts and change lives. Food, clothing, blankets and books are collected and distributed throughout the year to support ill and hospitalized, traumatized or homeless children and families as well as Veterans. It takes more than one entity to help support children and families heal and thrive. We work hard toward for the day when we are no longer needed. Visit www.NYSCFkids.org formerly http://nysportscene.com/childrens-foundation.
SUNY Farmingdale Receives Check from Funds Raised at Golf Event
Pictured above: (left to right) NY Sportscene Children’s Foundation Chairman Mike Cutino, President of SUNY Farmingdale Alumni Joe Egan, Alumni Relations Director Michelle Johnson and Regina Vazquez.
New York Sportscene Children’s Foundation Inaugural Golf Classic a Success!
(August 31, 2015) Commack, NY – The New York Sportscene Children’s Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-for-profit organization, held its inaugural Golf at the Hamlet Golf and Country Club. This sell-out fundraising event saw attendees enjoy a full day of fun from golf with sports celebrities to a pool party for the kids featuring local pageant winners.
Brandon Steiner, Founder and CEO of Steiner Sports, was the official honoree at the Awards Dinner where local philanthropists had a chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Daryl Strawberry, Joe Morris, O.J. Anderson, Greg Buttle, Sean Landeta, Brad Benson, Danny Aiello, Vinny Vella, Gary U.S. Bonds and other celebs.
When it was all said and done, supporters had a great time raising funds for important causes such as theFamily Services of Westchester’s Jerome Wagner Youth Residence for Boys and the Evelyn Sachs Steiner Residence for Girls; YES WE CARE, INC., a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charity designed to help improve the quality of life for the homeless, our Veterans, hospitalized children & cancer patients suffering alone and also the SUNY Farmingdale Alumni Association.
It was also announced that the 2nd Annual New York Sportscene Children’s Foundation Golf Classic has been scheduled for August 15, 2016.
Here is an exclusive photo album from the event so you too can share in the wonderful experience. Enjoy!
(All images are courtesy of John Abbraccianento. John can be contacted for bookings at email@example.com)
Click on image to rotate photos.