The Huntington Booster Club’s annual dinner on Thursday night at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury was a festive affair. A large crowd of coaches, parents, alumni and friends of honoree Jerry Asher turned out to support the Blue Devil athletic program.
The fun evening was a reunion of sorts for the Huntington sports family as many different generations of former athletes and coaches came together. About 225 tickets were sold and when combined with a 64 page journal and proceeds from 35 raffle baskets, the dinner is expected to have raised $40,000, which will plowed back into the Booster Club’s grant program.
Booster Club honoree Jerry Asher
with Director of Athletics Georgia Deren McCarthy.
Mr. Asher’s classmates always knew he was going to make it big and he has. Huntington High School’s Class of 1959 president has enjoyed a lifetime of personal and professional success. He points to the Blue Devil athletic program as the source of the skillset he’s used to achieve great things.
The Huntington alum earned an undergraduate degree at Princeton University and a law degree at Cornell, but he’s never forgotten his roots. Mr. Asher played varsity football, basketball and baseball for the Blue Devils and has gone on to distinguish himself as a husband, father, US Army captain, sports agent and lawyer and as a judge serving on the county court and New York State Supreme Court.
“Jerry is a Huntington success story and is still one of the biggest Blue Devil fans 58 years after his high school graduation,” Huntington Booster Club President Tim Pillion said. “It was so nice to be able to honor him during such a lovely evening. He’s done so much behind the scenes for so many people. Listening to him credit his high school teachers and coaches for laying the foundation for his success was simply awesome.”
Many past Booster Club honorees were in the audience along with Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky, Assistant Superintendents Kathie Acker and Beth McCoy, high school Principal Brenden Cusack, Finley Middle School Principal John Amato, Director of Athletics Georgia D. McCarthy, Huntington School Board President Thomas DiGiacomo, current and former coaches and a cast of Blue Devil athletes that spanned decades.
Thursday night’s affair began with a cocktail hour, including hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, specialty stations and a pasta bar and continued with a delicious hot meal followed by a “make your own sundae bar” and All American style cookies. The house DJ kept the mood upbeat and drew many in the crowd onto the dance floor.
“The Huntington Booster Club continues to work tirelessly in an effort to support and maximize athletic opportunities for our students during their formative years in Huntington and to promote their development as physically active and well-rounded young people,” Mr. Polansky said. “Booster Club members genuinely understand the importance of providing adolescents with a comprehensive education that includes meaningful experiences, both within and beyond the classroom.”
Mr. Pillion’s fellow Huntington Booster Club officers include Michele Deegan (membership), Susan Gerbavsits (grant coordinator), Tiffany Annunziata (treasurer), Lauren Meagher (Finley merchandise coordinator), Julie LaBella (special events/annual dinner coordinator), Joe Mattio (field house/technology coordinator), Kelly Paci (merchandise co-coordinator), Meredith Hassett (merchandise co-coordinator) and Erik Krisch (marketing coordinator). Bari Fehrs, Betsy Giamo, Ed McGuinness and Patti Weber are at-large board members. Tim Madden serves as the organization’s summer camp director.
Mrs. LaBella coordinated the dinner with the help of several board members. Erik Krisch designed the groundbreaking journal that included many interesting historical photos along with stunning and colorful photography donated by Huntington High School alums Michael Connell and Darin Reed. Mr. Asher’s friends and professional colleagues packed the journal with congratulatory messages.
The Huntington Booster Club has donated more than $600,000 to the Blue Devil athletic program since 2007. “Thanks to the incredible level of support we have received from the community we have been able to do some really wonderful things for our student-athletes,” Mr. Pillion said. “We hope to continue making a positive difference through our grant program, which is open to all sport programs.”
Plans are already being formulated for the October 2018 Huntington Booster Club gala.