Port Washington Youth Activities (PYA) is pleased to announce the induction of three new members into its Hall of Fame at its annual Gala on the night of Friday, April 8, 2022 at the North Hempstead Country Club in Port Washington.
After a 3-year hiatus due to COVID-19, PYA will honor former President Tony Cavallaro, longtime director Kevin Dermody and former PYA athlete Keith Owens at its 30th annual fund-raising celebration. These three men, each in their own way, have helped to continue to shape and grow the organization, which was founded in 1963.
Tony Cavallaro served two split terms as PYA President from 2009-2013 and 2015-2019, after joining the PYA board in 2006, on which he is still active. He headed up the Safety committee for 2 years, was Softball commissioner for 9 years, and Girls’ Basketball commissioner for 2 years. He also coached Boys Baseball and split time coaching Boys and Girls hoops over the years, too. Prior to ascending to the presidency, he was the Secretary of PYA for 2 years. He is active locally in the Port Washington VFW and Sons of Italy, is a St. John’s Law School graduate, and is currently employed in the securities industry.
Kevin Dermody’s tenure on the PYA board spanned 21 years, beginning in 1988. He is unique in that as a youth, he played in PYA-predecessor programs in the late 1950s and early ‘60s in the football, basketball, and baseball programs. He was a varsity soccer and basketball player at Schreiber High School. While a volunteer at PYA, he helped build the Girls’ Basketball program as a coach and commissioner for 15 years, and coached PYA intramural minor and major league and travel baseball over 6 years. He also was a PYA Basketball referee for over 15 years. On the administrative side, for 21 years he served on the Hall of Fame Dinner Dance/Gala committee, responsible for publishing the event journal during that time.
Keith Owens capped an outstanding athletic career at PYA and moved on to excel at Schreiber High School (3 years each in varsity football, wrestling, and lacrosse), and starred in lacrosse at SUNY Farmingdale (1st Team All-American), Nassau Community College (1st Team All-American, helping the team win the junior college national championship), and Syracuse University (winning the Division I national championship in 1988). He played club lacrosse with the North Hempstead Lacrosse Club and founder Harvey Cohen (PYA HOF 1991), and professionally the New York Saints in the indoor National Lacrosse League. Keith’s community service includes still giving time back to PYA as a referee (for lacrosse, football, and basketball for more than 10 years) and coaching in our youth lacrosse and basketball programs. He also is involved as a volunteer coach for the youth basketball PAL Summer League in Bay Shore, and for their youth lacrosse program, too. He was inducted into the Schreiber High School Athletic Hall of Fame last fall.
On the night of the April 8th, these new inductees will join other Hall of Fame members such as Mike Mongelli, Wayne Desimone, and Ronnie Henderson as past PYA honorees. The Gala will kick off with a cocktail hour at 7:30PM, and a buffet dinner from 8:30PM to 12:00 midnight. There will be a silent auction, and other fundraising raffles, too. The price is $175.00 per person (including open bar) in advance and is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. There are also several sponsorships available to fit all budgets. Please mark your calendars now, and direct any inquiries and reservations to Brandon Kurz, PYA Executive Director at (516) 944-7921. You can also visit the PYA website link at www.pyasports.org/gala for more information about the Celebration, and to register to attend the event.
—Submitted by the Port Washington Youth Activities