2011-04-01 / Sports

Plans Set For Rockaway Little League Opening Day

The Braves march in last year’s Little League parade. The Braves march in last year’s Little League parade. After last year’s huge success, Rockaway Little League is looking forward to its second annual Opening Day Extravaganza on April 9 in Fort Tilden. More than 1,000 people participated last year. In addition to the traditional parade and speeches, the event features blow up rides, catered food, raffles, face painting and other fun activities for the whole family.

The Baseball, Softball and Challenger divisions will open up with seven regular season games on the schedule.

Players and coaches will muster on Beach 169 Street (near the fire house) at 9:00 a.m. The parade of teams will enter Fort Tilden at 9:30. The ceremony at the Clubhouse will begin at 10:00. It will include the National Anthem, brief remarks from elected officials and a rendering of Take Me Out to the Ballgame led by Little League President Marty Andresen.

Last year, Congressman Anthony Weiner, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Councilman Eric Ulrich and State Senator Malcolm Smith participated.

After the ceremonial first pitches, the Challenger division will break the seal on our 2011 season, the 58th for Rockaway Little League. Shortly thereafter the rides will open up for the children. They include two bounce houses, an obstacle course and a slide. Rides will be open until 2 p.m.

Parents can partake in a raffle program that has more than three dozen prizes, including a weekend for two at the Norwich Inn and Spa (donated by Joe Mure); one week at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club Summer Camp (donated by Joanna Ostrander); a Never Forgotten Flag Photo donated by the Blue Bungalow, two-hour open bar with food for friends with Joe Braskey as the guest bartender (donated by Marty and Keith McManus); a New York Ranger jersey signed by Brian Leech (donated by the Rose, Watters and McGuiness families) and Women’s Pro Softball package with autographed photos, jersey and softball.

In addition, gift certificates have been donated by local stores, including Plum Tomatoes, Sunny Nails, Belle Harbor Foods and East Meets West. Rockaway Little League’s Opening Day Extravaganza is open to the entire Rockaway community.

The parade and ceremony are free. Tickets are required to partake in the food, rides and activities. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 per child and $20 per adult with a family maximum of $70 (immediate family only). Because the event is catered, the price will increase to $20 a child and $25 per adult ($100 family maximum) after April 6.

Tickets will be on sale in the St. Francis small hall during tonight’s Graybeards game.

For more information, go to www.rockawaylittleleague.com. The rain date is April 10. Parents are encouraged to bring beach or lawn chairs.

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