We’re now into summer, but before we travel too far into these crazy, hazy and lazy days, I wanted to share with you some exciting news that occurred during May that involved me and benefitted the high school student-athletes of Long Island.
On May 28, I was honored to receive “personal naming rights” to the new stadium that will be constructed for St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington. While I didn’t play for St. Anthony’s, I was raised nearby and frequently played various sports in the parks and fields located in the shadows of the school. I always admired the education and athletic tradition that St. Anthony’s offered to its students, and it is this commitment that convinced me to contribute the lead gift for the construction of the new sports facility.
I also do have connections to the school through family and friends. My niece, Genevieve Pannell, and my nephew, Paul Dowd, are graduates. Another niece of mine, Julia Dowd, has just completed her first year at the school. As for friends, when I played basketball and tennis in nearby Wolf Hill Park my frequent companions were Kevin Hahn and John Hahn, Sr., the father and grandfather of Matt Hahn, a former St. Anthony’s football superstar. It was the Hahn family that introduced me to the insurance industry. These many years later, based on the success of The Whitmore Group, I now have traveled full circle and can lend my support to this great school.
Just two days earlier, at the Section VIII Nassau County high school boys’ lacrosse championship matches held at Hofstra University, I presented to Nassau’s leading players the second annual Leadership Awards named in my honor.
I was proud to meet and acknowledge the following outstanding athletes:
- Cold Spring Harbor High School senior goalie Will Doyle, who maintained his starting position despite competition from three other capable goalies during the preseason.
- Lynbrook High School senior defender Eddie Bouhall, who has committed to Lehigh University.
- Manhasset High School senior midfielder James Thomas, who also received a school scholarship as the most dedicated player on the boy’s lacrosse team.
- Massapequa High School senior defender Griffin Barnathan, who was expected to have an impact season (and did) after serving as a role player last year.
Mineola High School senior midfielder James Gerstner, who recently signed a letter of intent to play lacrosse at SUNY Stony Brook.
- Syosset High School senior defender Richard Prestegaard, who separately received a $200,000 scholarship from the U.S. Army ROTC for his attendance at Boston College this fall.
Each student reflected the tenacity, honesty, commitment and positive attitude required in Nassau lacrosse. Each player also possessed the ability to inspire others on and off the field.