By Karen Costa
On a warm, sunny Saturday in July, the USA Patriots softball team took on a group of BBP representatives in an exciting fundraiser game at our own little league fields in front of a large crowd. The Patriots, formerly known as the Wounded Warriors, consist of combat veterans that have lost limbs. They travel the country playing against able-bodied teams spreading their message that “life without limbs is limitless”. They host camps for kids with amputations and their fundraising efforts go directly to those camps.
Scott June, Bayport resident, baseball instructor, and JWY Middle School baseball coach, organized the event. He has been involved with all 7 Long Island trips that the team has made over the last 11 years. “I got involved because I was impressed with how these guys have dealt with such hardship and still manage to stay so positive,” said Scott. “I’ve seen them actually change kids’ lives just because they realize that they are not alone with their struggles.”
Scott recruited players to represent local organizations and schools. Among those on the BBP roster was School Superintendent Dr. Tim Hearney; Middle School Principal John Andruskiewicz; Scott June himself; BBP alumni Amelia Fuller representing our softball program and Chris Costa representing the little league; Bayport Fire Chief Jerry Dietz; BBP resident Geoff Fig, former Duck’s manager and MLP player Kevin Baez, former player for the Padres and Rays organizations Max Tissenbaum; and Pat-Med resident and Navy veteran Adam Adbat.
Tyler and Zach Teufel announced the game, J.K. Hodge was the organist to get the crowd energized and Blue Point Principal Tara Falasco sang the national anthem. It was a back-and-forth game with the BBP team taking an early lead, but in the end, the Patriots were able to gain back the lead and win the game.
It was a truly inspirational day and after the game a fundraising even was held at the Blue Point Fire House. With all of the events, the 50/50 raffle, and auctions, over $40,000 was raised for the Patriots. It was an inspirational day and BBP was honored to host such a meaningful event. If you missed the game but still would like to donate to the cause, please go to usapatriotsathletics.org for more information.