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David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation

February 14, 2022 - 8:29pm

The Batavia City Council is throwing its support behind an Oneida County-initiated pitch to Gov. Kathy Hochul to provide state funding for “necessary repairs and enhancements” to municipally-owned baseball stadiums across New York State.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr., at tonight’s Business Meeting at the City Hall Council Board Room, asked for – and received – authorization from his colleagues to put his name on a letter written by Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. and Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League President Robert F. Julian, asking Hochul to set aside $250 million in her state budget for improvements at these facilities, which include Dwyer Stadium in Batavia.

Dated Jan. 27, the letter is in response to state lawmakers’ consideration of appropriating $1 billion in taxpayer money to build a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills and proposing more than $100 million for Lake Placid to host the World University Games.

“… we believe there should be equity for other communities that are owners of municipal baseball stadiums throughout the state,” the letter reads. “These stadiums have a rich history and are part of the fabric of our communities. While they are not profit centers, they are a critical part of the public infrastructure providing recreational opportunities and civic engagement that enhances the quality of life in our communities.”

The letter also touches upon Major League Baseball’s “sudden abandonment” of minor league affiliates in 2020 that negatively affected operations in small cities and towns.

“New York has a proud history as a home to amateur and professional baseball, and that has continued as the PGCBL and other Independent leagues have quickly stepped up to fill the void left behind,” it reads. “However, we need assistance to make the transition into this new paradigm.”

Dwyer Stadium continues to be the home of the Batavia Muckdogs, a summertime club that is part of the PGCBL. Muckdogs’ owner Robbie Nichols also has signed the letter.

Other signatures are from representatives of the communities of Auburn, Boonville, Altamont, Amsterdam, Elmira, Geneva, Glens Falls, Jamestown, Little Falls, Niagara Falls, Newark, Oneonta, Saugerties, Utica and Watertown.

Picente and Julian wrote that the level of funding being requested “would provide adequate funds to allow for each of our communities to invest in necessary repairs and enhancements to protect and stabilize these stadiums.”

They also indicated they are reaching out to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, “seeking a partnership to bring to life their vast offerings in our facilities throughout the state.”

The letter also will be sent to state Senate and Assembly Majority and Minority leaders and State Budget Director Robert Mujica.

Council member Paul Viele, apparently thinking about the Batavia Ice Arena, asked if the letter could be modified to include arenas, but Jankowski said that it was focused on stadiums.

In other developments, Council approved the following resolutions:

  • Scheduling of a public hearing for 7 p.m. Feb. 28 on the city’s 2022-23 budget, water rates, meter fees and capital improvement fees. The $17.7 million spending plan calls for a tax levy of $5,986,000 – up $121,403 from 2021-22. The property tax rate, however, would decrease by 78 cents to $8.94 per $1,000 of assessed value. Water rates, meter fees and capital improvement fees are set to increase by 1.5 percent from last year’s rates.
  • Re-naming the Batavia Ice Arena on Evans Street to the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena as a result of a contract with Pellegrino Auto Sales and the David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation that would pay the city $3,100 annually for 10 years. Council member Robert Bialkowski applauded the decision. “I really appreciate the citizens coming forward and doing this. I think it’s a good move forward,” he said.

Previously: Council sends favorable signals to Batavia duo seeking to acquire ice arena naming rights

January 24, 2022 - 9:37pm

hockey_rightsd_duo.jpg

Calling it a significant event in his lifetime, Batavia businessman Guy Pellegrino walked away from tonight’s City Council Conference Meeting with a good feeling that the Batavia Ice Arena soon will be named in honor of the late David McCarthy.

Pellegrino, owner of Pellegrino Auto Sales on Pearl Street Road, and Brian McCarthy, president of the David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation, spoke to city lawmakers at the City Hall Council Board Room to let them know how much it would mean to them for Council to vote in favor of accepting their offer to purchase the naming rights of the Evans Street facility.

City management put out a Request for Proposal back in October and apparently has drafted a contract that stipulates annual payments of $3,100 from Pellegrino Auto Sales over a 10-year period for the privilege to rename the rink The David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena.

“You couldn’t find a better person to have their name on that building,” Pellegrino said. “This is one of the most special things I have ever embarked upon.”

Pellegrino said he and David played hockey together from 1983 through the Batavia High Ice Devils’ run to the New York State finals in 1995.

“He was our team captain and was just one of my great, great friends,” he said. “But back to the naming rights and making sure David's name is on there. He was just very passionate, just a great, great hockey player and even greater person. So, to honor him -- that's honestly what we set out to do.”

David McCarthy was killed tragically in a motor vehicle accident in November 2006 at the age of 29. Shortly thereafter, his family and friends started the foundation in his name to support local youth sports.

His brother, Brian, said he appreciates Pellegrino’s generosity and will work closely with him to advance youth hockey and enhance what the arena has to offer for children and adults, alike.

“Guy came to us and said when this proposal (from the city) came out that he wanted to do this – not necessarily for his business, but in honor of his teammate and my brother, David McCarthy,” Brian said to the City Council members.

“Our family was just blown away that he wanted to do this. We thought, well, what can we do? So, what we bring to the table is … a charitable foundation that is passionate about improving and supporting youth athletics in Genesee County.”

McCarthy said the foundation has supported “a long and diverse list of organizations” over the past 15 years. The foundation has donated around $80,000 to youth sports during that time.

136932461_104300151620785_8012738598735997461_n.pngWith help from his father, Michael, and other family and friends, McCarthy said the foundation is in a position to help sports groups get started or move to the next level.

“As Guy and I talked about it a few weeks ago, I have the fun job of often times getting back to these organizations, reporting to them that we're going to step in and help,” he said.

“We have a huge golf tournament every June where we raise money to support youth athletics and it's become a very big event, and the community has just been amazing in supporting us,” he mentioned. “So, we're excited to take kind of that recipe and join forces with the people that have been working hard for years to make the ice rink an amazing place, and maybe even add a little more to the equation.”

Both men said they are hopeful that their offer will be accepted when Council votes at its next Business Meeting on Feb. 14.

Judging by some of the Council members’ initial reactions, they have reason to be optimistic.

Patti Pacino said she has an 8-year-old and 4-year-old (grandchildren) that use the rink and said, “I couldn’t agree more” with their bid to win the naming rights.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. thanked both of them for “thinking about the long term” status of the rink and fostering public partnership; Tammy Schmidt noted that her son “grew up at the rink and now her grandson” and Robert Bialkowski said he was glad that somebody from Batavia responded to the RFP.

Bialkowski asked what would happen if the city leases the rink to a different management firm that wanted to change the facility's name. City Attorney George Van Nest said there is an opt-out clause and that would be addressed at that time.

For now, both Pellegrino and Brian McCarthy are spending their free time as coaches – teaching the basics of hockey to their young children.

“We’re coaching together at the beginner level. Yeah, the smallest kids on the ice – 4 and 5 years old; as little as they get,” McCarthy offered. “The two of us have a long extension to our own hockey adventure ahead of us with our sons.”

Photo: Guy Pellegrino, left, and Brian McCarthy address City Council tonight about their offer to have the Batavia Ice Arena named in memory of Brian's brother, David. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: City drafts resolution to name ice arena in memory of standout Batavia athlete David McCarthy

January 21, 2022 - 11:56pm

136932461_104300151620785_8012738598735997461_n.pngWith the approval of City Council, a Batavia-based charitable organization that has done so much for youth sports in Genesee County over the past 14 years will be honored by having its name attached to the city-owned ice arena on Evans Street.

Assistant City Manager Jill Wiedrick, in a memo dated Jan. 24 to City Council, stated that Pellegrino Auto Sales and the David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation have submitted the most competitive bid -- $3,100 annually for 10 years – to purchase the naming rights for the Batavia Ice Arena.

In October 2021, city management put out a Request for Proposal, seeking “a forward-thinking community leader” (business or organization) to present a proposal indicating at least a five-year commitment. According to the RFP, proceeds from the naming rights will be used to make improvements to the arena.

A draft of a resolution to formally accept the Pellegrino/McCarthy Foundation offer is on the agenda of Monday night’s City Council Conference Meeting at 7 o’clock at the City Hall Council Board Room.

The resolution stipulates that the facility will be renamed The David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena during the 10-year term of a formal naming rights agreement and any renewals thereafter.

In her memo, Wiedrick wrote that the agreement grants the prospective sponsors the following rights:

  • Erect signage on the ice arena’s façade;
  • Place one sign (painted) on an interior wall for Pellegrino Auto Sales;
  • Hold two events for up to two hours each at the arena annually;
  • Inclusion in all promotional material and other media (press releases, etc.) in cooperation with the city and Firland Management, the company that oversees operations for the city.

It goes on to note that the sponsors will pay for the installation and removal of the façade sign and major maintenance of the sign, and that Pellegrino Auto Sales, located at 4060 Pearl St. Rd., will pay for the painting and removal of the interior wall signage and the sign’s maintenance.

The rink formerly was known as the Falleti Ice Arena for many years.

The David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation was formed in 2007 in honor of David McCarthy, who died in a motor vehicle accident in November 2006 at the age of 29.  He was a 1995 graduate of Batavia High School, where he excelled in baseball and hockey.

Since then, the foundation has donated more than $70,000 to numerous youth athletics’ organizations and individuals – including Batavia/Notre Dame hockey, Batavia Minor League Baseball, Le Roy Youth Softball and, last summer, to Batavia wrestler Casper Stewart, who competed in the USA Wrestling Nationals in Fargo, N.D.

It also sponsors the annual David McCarthy Memorial Christmas Hockey Tournament at the Batavia Ice Arena.

Fundraisers throughout the year, primarily a golf tournament at Batavia Country Club and bowling tournament at Mancuso Bowling Center, sustain the foundation, which is led by David McCarthy’s brother, Brian, president; father, Michael, treasurer; and Matthew Meyer, vice president.

December 16, 2020 - 11:58am

Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia-based David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation, in conjunction with Gilmartin Funeral Home & Cremation Company Inc. and food provided by D&R Depot, provided 300 meals to the employees at the United Memorial Medical Center this morning.

This year has been so difficult for so many, especially the doctors, nurses, first responders, aftercare workers, kitchen staff, office staff, maintenance staff and administrators.

We thought what better way to show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication than by providing a nice meal for all who are trying to keep this community healthy and safe and get back to some type of normalcy.

Our foundation, which formed in 2007, after David passed away has committed to helping all types of youth athletics in the Genesee County area. Through our annual golf tournament at Batavia Country Club and Bowling Tournament at T.F. Brown's, the foundation has donated more than $65,000 in total to youth athletics.

Partnering with Gilmartin, which has seen firsthand the toll this coronavirus pandemic has taken on the local community, we hope this small gesture will bring a morale boost to everyone at the hospital.

Photo, from left: Pete Stevens, Mike McCarthy, Brian McCarthy, TJ Woodward and Matt Meyer.

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