The fun evening was a reunion of sorts for the Huntington sports family as many different generations of former athletes and coaches came together. Over 200 tickets were sold and when combined with a 40 page journal and proceeds from dozens of raffle baskets, the dinner is expected to have raised tens of thousands of dollars, which will be plowed back into the Booster Club’s grant program.
Many past Booster Club honorees were in the audience along with Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky, Assistant Superintendent Beth McCoy, high school Principal Brenden Cusack, Finley Middle School Principal John Amato, Huntington School Board President Jennifer Hebert, an assortment of district and building level administrators and current and former teachers and coaches along with a cast of Blue Devil athletes spanning decades.
Georgia McCarthy is flanked by her sons, John and Kenny. (Darin Reed photo.)
Ms. McCarthy was introduced to the crowd by her sons, John and Kenny and Huntington teacher/coach Ron Wilson. Each of them told personal tales about the honoree and attested to her complete commitment to the Blue Devil athletic program and the district in general.
Wednesday 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. DJ Glenn DeVeau kept the mood upbeat and drew many in the crowd onto the dance floor.
“Our deepest gratitude goes to the Huntington Booster Club for coordinating a beautiful evening and for all that they continue to do in support of our student-athletes and athletic programs,” Mr. Polansky said. “The ideas never stop flowing!”
When it was her turn to speak, Ms. McCarthy thanked current and former colleagues and mentors and paid tribute to her late dad, Ray who once held the same administrative position she does now.
“Sincere congratulations to Georgia McCarthy on a well-earned honor,” said Mr. Polansky during brief remarks during the gala. “We thank her for her many years of dedicated service to the district and for the manner in which she so genuinely cares about the students with whom she interacts daily.”
Mr. Pillion recounted all of the Booster Club’s many accomplishments over the years and highlighted some of its future plans and priorities. He expressed appreciation to Ms. McCarthy for all she has done to raise the Huntington athletic program to new heights.
Mr. Pillion’s fellow Huntington Booster Club officers include Michele Deegan (membership), Susan Gerbavsits (grant coordinator), Tiffany Annunziata (treasurer), Lauren Meagher (Finley merchandise coordinator), Patti Weber (special events/annual dinner coordinator), Trish Rongo (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/advertising coordinator). Bari Fehrs, Betsy Giamo and Ed McGuinness are at-large board members. Tim Madden serves as the organization’s summer camp director.
Mrs. Weber and Mrs. Longo coordinated the dinner with the help of several board members. Erik Krisch designed the acclaimed journal that included many interesting historical photos along with stunning and colorful photography donated by Huntington High School alums Michael Connell and Darin Reed. Ms. McCarthy’s friends and professional colleagues packed the journal with congratulatory messages.
The Huntington Booster Club has donated more than $750,000 to the Blue Devil athletic program since 2007. “Thanks to the exceptional level of support we have received from the community we have been able to do some really beautiful things for our student-athletes,” Mr. Pillion said. “We plan on continuing to making a positive difference through our grant program, which is open to all sport programs.”
Plans are already being formulated for next fall’s Huntington Booster Club gala.