On June 18, the Ray Greaves Association held the Jeffery T. Farley Sportsfest. The weather was a perfect setting at Hudson County Park.
The Sportsfest was a tribute to dear friend and association vice president Jeff Farley. His untimely passing in January left us asking what to do to exemplify what he was about. He was a dedicated father and grandfather and spent many years actively involved in children’s sports programs as the director of the Bayonne PAL basketball program for 18 years. It seemed natural that we follow Jeff’s passion. Sportsfest was created for the youth of Bayonne.
What a day it was! We started with some very inspiring, motivational words by Mayor Mark Smith and Hall of Fame basketball coach Bobby Hurley. In an emotional moment, county freeholder Dr. Doreen DiDomenico announced the dedication of the basketball courts in Hudson County Park in Jeff’s name. Thanks to Freeholder DiDomenico’s efforts, the basketball courts provide our kids a safe place to play, ensuring that Jeff’s legacy to the children of this city lives on. The emotions cannot be expressed through words. To share that with the Farley family made the day all the more special.
The clinic began with coaches Brian Woods, head coach of William Paterson University; Dave Beck, head assistant at Rutgers University; Robert Beilan, head coach of women’s soccer at NJCU; and members of the NJCU women’s soccer team teaching soccer skills. Coaches Jack Hladik, former head coach at BHS; Mikel Taylor, head coach of BHS boys; James Turner, head coach of BHS girls; Jamal Lord, head coach of BHS girls; and JJ Hladik, Matt Hladik, and John Callaway taught basketball skills. Coach Pat Longo, head coach of BHS; and several BHS boys and girls volleyball players taught volleyball skills. You got the sense that the kids experienced a day that created lasting memories. Hopefully they learned valuable life lessons that went well beyond the games taught.
We thank all the coaches, their assistants, Tico Barrett, PJ Baccarella, and Joe Collins not only for their time but also their compassion. They made it an enjoyable experience for all. We had over two hundred well-behaved and happy kids in attendence, all a testament to the incredible job of the coaches and volunteers who kept everyone involved and active.
The day would not have been possible without the generous support of Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell; the Bayonne Fire Canteen; the Franconeri family at Ten East; Val and Tony Maita; Kenny Baran; Steve Kap; Greg Czerwienski; Glen Hennessey and Mary Beth Golden; sponsors Bayonne Medical Center; UNICO; Amalgamated Transit Union; Hudson County Building Trades; I.U.O.E. Local 68; F.M.B.A.; Peggy Baber; Mediterraneo Restaurant; Café Bello; The Big Apple; the Dellabella family; and many others.
To the committee of Kenneth Kopacz, John Calcaterra, Keith Makowski, TJ Johnston, Matt Dorans, Larry Feuer, you are the best. You did a spectacular job and you brought so much pride to all, including our man Jeffrey T.
Ray Greaves Association