Port Washington Youth Activities, or PYA, announced the induction of two new members into its Hall of Fame at its annual gala on the night of Friday, May 31 at the North Hempstead Country Club in Port Washington.
PYA will honor longtime directors Wayne Desimone and Mike Mongelli as exceptional volunteers at its 29th annual fundraising celebration. These two men, each in their own way, have helped to continue to shape and grow the organization, which was founded in 1963.
Desimone served as a director on the PYA board for over 10 years after first establishing himself as a standout commissioner of the boys and girls basketball programs, and coaching both sports. He did the same for the baseball and football programs. Desimone stayed involved with all those sports even after he stepped down from the board as he continued to coach and officiate football and girls basketball. A practicing attorney who graduated from Brooklyn Law School, Desimone also was a key member of PYA’s Legal Committee, and its Sponsorship Committee, too. As PYA’s programs grew, and its Lions Field facility served more and more families, he spearheaded security and safety initiatives working closely with the Field Committee. Wayne’s own athletic background is noteworthy. He moved on from a stellar sports career at Long Island Lutheran High School as part of two varsity years in baseball, and also two years on the school’s highly ranked basketball team. He continued his hoop dreams as a top player for Concordia College in Bronxville before attending law school.
Mongelli initially got involved with PYA by coaching flag football, transitioning to the intramural tackle program, and ultimately leading the organization’s return to travel tackle football after a nearly 50-year hiatus. Not only did he coach these sports, but he also spent time as the football commissioner. Mongelli did a similar service as coach and commissioner over a 12-year period from 2004-2016 for intramural and travel baseball, and basketball. However, he may be best known for his effective fundraising skills, which have boosted not only PYA’s major events – this annual Hall of Fame Gala, and the PYA Golf Outing in the fall – but the growth of the PYA Endowment Fund, too. Growing up in Queens, Mike played football at St. Francis Prep, and for St. John’s University as well. As a “double alumnus” of St. John’s, graduating from their Law School, he has an established law practice in Queens.
On the night of the May 31 gala, these new inductees will join other Hall of Fame members such as Nora Maguire-White, Rear Admiral John Wade, and Billy Owens as past PYA honorees. The gala will kick off with a cocktail hour at 7:30 p.m., and dining and dancing from 8:30 p.m. to midnight. There will be a silent auction, and raffle prizes, 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 several sponsorships available to fit all budgets, and ads can be placed in the souvenir journal distributed at the event. 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.
Port Washington Youth Activities (PYA) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization formed to promote the exemplary development of local youth through participation in sports. PYA teaches teamwork and individual responsibility in an atmosphere of respect and sportsmanship. While PYA places emphasis on the development of sports skills, its primary mission is to develop character and an understanding of how participation in sporting events can prepare one for success in all endeavors.
Submitted by Port Washington Youth Activities