BC Celebrates Big Opening Day!
Excited players of all ages, as well as parents, coaches, friends, neighbors and supporters assembled at East 17th Road Park in Broad Channel starting at 9:30 a.m.
By the time it set off, shortly after 10 a.m., the gathering was hundreds strong.
Heading north along Cross Bay Boulevard, the march was lead off by an honor guard from American Legion Post 1404 in Broad Channel, followed by four BCAC Shamrocks players carrying the green and white banner.
Established in 1961, the BCAC is an integral part of the island community and continues to be a strong part of the Channel’s relief efforts, recovery and rebuilding.
Dressed in the signature yellow vests that became a welcome sight in the difficult days right after the hurricane, a large contingent of Mormons followed next. Specially invited guests, their large banner read: “Mormon Helping Hands- We Love You Broad Channel.”
The Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department also took part in the parade. The Vollies, on duty during the storm, lost most of their equipment. One bright, polished yellow fire engine sported the image of a cartoon rider being chased by a headless horseman and the words “Donated by Sleepy Hollow FD- Hurricane Sandy 2012.”
Whether marching with teammates, rolling along in mom-pulled wagons or passing in strollers, children were everywhere. Most proudly wore their blue, yellow, red or green BCAC uniforms, caps and sweatshirts. Some of the younger players held hands as they marched.
“You’ve got to love a team where the players hold hands!,” said one observer as the parade went by.
The sounds of hammering, sawing and other construction ceased, as workmen on roofs or in doorways stopped to watch as the parade, stretching over two or three blocks, passed houses still being rebuilt from the storm.
Elsewhere neighbors came out to wave, take pictures and cheer on the teams as they went by.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder were on hand at the BCAC Memorial Field to join the festivities and each spoke.
The Broad Channel’s PS 47 chorus, led by teacher Julia Daudelin, also entertained, getting the crowd to join in on “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.”
A moment of silence was observed for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings the week before.
Stating this was the first opening day since the hurricane, the announcer was met with deafening cheers when he asked “Is anybody here a Shamrocks fan?”
Noting that this opening was a return and a celebration of Broad Channel’s recovery after the devastation and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, he said to the several hundred strong crowd, “It changed our lives forever. (But) we took the worst part of our lives and turned it into something incredible!”
Later on in the day, the words everyone was waiting for sounded over the public address system.