Number of Participants: 300
Hours Donated: 2
Value of Time Served: $5,070
Event Type: Health & Medicine
Sport: Track and Field
School: Washingtonville Senior High School
Date: April 4, 2023
Washingtonville High School
West Main Street, Washingtonville
“This was an event that the track coaches put together to help raise money to bring Gary home (back to NY) as he was dealing with ALS. Unfortunately, Gary passed prior to him being able to come home and the event purpose shifted to an awareness/fundraising event to support ALS in honor of Gary. Gary was the former AD here at Washingtonville.
Gary Vyskocil was a teacher and coach at Valley Central and Warwick and finished his career as Athletic Director here at Washingtonville. He spent his entire career supporting each athlete with whom he came into contact. Gary retired in June of 2022 and moved to Florida. After a short time he was diagnosed with ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Gary and his family wanted to move back to NY to be near their support system of family and friends as he battled this disease. This meet was planned as a fundraiser to help cover the cost of medical transport from Florida to New York. Unfortunately, Gary passed away before he was able to make it home. We are sad that he did not live to see the outpouring of support for him but we hope this event in his honor will provide a measure of comfort for his family. During his illness, Gary was assisted by an organization called AlwayS for ALS, who supplied Gary and his family with medical equipment and emotional support. The meet is a way to honor Coach Vyskocil’s memory and also support an organization that helps families dealing with ALS.
The student-athletes of the Washingtonville Wizards Track & Field team and their parents worked together to organize a concession stand and collect donations to be raffled off. We invited the schools where Gary had worked as well as a couple of other neighboring teams. There were over 300 students competing as well as a sizable crowd of spectators. We had a short program of testimonials about Gary which provided comfort to Gary’s parents, who were in attendance. Our student-athletes helped set up and run the meet, moved hurdles and equipment when needed, and cleaned our facility when the meet concluded. It’s difficult to quantify the hours involved as this was less a labor-intensive project than a gesture to show respect for our former Athletic Director, solidarity with his family, and to raise funds for assisting others with ALS.”
This meet was run entirely by volunteers.
New York State’s best officials association, Section 9 graciously volunteered there time today.
Elizabeth (Boo) Kelleher
Matt Hemmer (Monroe-Woodbury Head Coach) Volunteered to run the FAT system
Washingtonville parents who operated the concession stand
Local organizations donating food and refreshments
* Information Provided by Mike White