For over half a century, little league baseball has been an integral part of life in Woodhaven. For many years, it was Rich-Haven Little League that provided that outlet for our children. A few years ago, Rich-Haven (which served Richmond Hill and Woodhaven) expanded its' reach to include Ozone Park, Kew Gardens, and South Ozone Park and was reborn as WORKS Little League. WORKS also expanded its' reach to include teams for girls, and a challenger division that specializes in children who are afflicted with autism.
More WORKS Related Coverage: 2009 Picture Day, 2009 Parade, 2010 Parade, 2011 Parade, Interview with WORKS President Terry Flanagan.
It's part of the tradition that at the end of each year, an awards dinner/luncheon is held, to celebrate the year's accomplishments. We were very happy to attend and, for myself, it was extremely nice as it was part of my childhood. In fact, I went into my personal archive and dug out the following picture from one of the awards dinners -- that's New York Met First baseman Ed Kranepool signing autographs. League President Bernie Halpern is at the right.
When we arrived at Antun's, all of the awards were lined up on the front table -- and there were hundreds of them -- it was an impressive sight. Every single child who plays in WORKS each year walks away with at least one trophy -- and that's a great thing.
At the other end of the room a large table was set up with a terrific lineup of raffle prizes. The autographed Don Mattingly was a very popular choice.
There was a real nice turnout and they had a cool slide show with highlights from the season.
There were a lot of friends and families having a great time -- and that's what WORKS Little League prides itself in. If you have children, boys or girls, you should consider getting them involved in a little league -- they'll meet all kinds of good people.
The kids were anxious to get their trophies --
Here's two ballplayers ready to collect their awards after a long season. The season begins early in the year with the parade and ends with the awards ceremony and there's a whole lot of baseball in between.
League President Terrence Flanagan thanked all of the men and women who help keep WORKS running -- from the back office to the playing field. He also put out the call for more volunteers -- to coach, manage, whatever support you can lend. Click here to learn more about WORKS Little League.
Here's some video we took at the awards ceremony -- enjoy!
WORKS developed a Challenger League for children with autism, a wonderful outlet for these kids.
There were a lot of proud parents -- and the coaches and managers and league officials were just as proud of the children. Here, League VP Walter Chaluisant congratulates two competitors.
There was a lot of fun and laughter and the kids were all happy to receive their trophies.
The newly elected Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder came and spoke -- he covers a small portion of Woodhaven and recently replaced Audrey Pfeffer.
There's nothing better than a team standing together with their just rewards -- congratulations!
There had to be over 300 people in attendance, easily --
President Terrence Flanagan with our State Senator Joseph Addabbo.
And here is Terry Flanagan and VP Walter Chaluisant and newly elected Congressman Bob Turner.
Organizations such as WORKS need the support of the community to survive -- and they also need the support of our elected officials. WORKS went through some tough financial times, but because of the hard work of the people that run the league, they are in better shape today. But they will need the help of our elected officials.
Here are the men and women who make WORKS possible -- the coaches and managers and parents -- they all do a marvelous job and deserve a round of applause.
Here are some happy tables --
Congratulations to all of the players, coaches, managers and parents -- we'll see you all next year at the parade!
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Photos by Joey Wendell