Number of Participants: 25
Hours Donated: 5
Value of Time Served: $1,056
Event Type: Civic & Community
School: Plainview-Old Bethpage/Jfk High School
Date: April 16, 2023
Plainview Old Bethpage John F Kennedy High School
Kennedy Drive, Plainview
We have been doing the autism game and challenger Little league since 2016. We use the weekend to spread awareness to autism and give back to the community. We play the game annually on Saturday and we use that Sunday for community service. We have a bagel breakfast before hand. The boys real enjoy it and we all get a lot out of it. — Coach Giv
MacArthur, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK make pitch against autism
The players from MacArthur and Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK took their places along the first- and third-bases lines for Saturday’s pregame ceremony. The words on the front and back of their special colorful jerseys told the story of this day being about more than just baseball.
On the front, the words were the same for all: “Strike Out AUTISM.”
On the back, above the numbers, well, it varied from “AWARENESS” to “KINDNESS” to “ACCEPTANCE” to “SUPPORT.”
“It’s special,” Hawks coach John Givargidze said. “I always tell our guys we’re lucky. We don’t have any issues that we have to deal with on top of everything else that the world throws at us. So it’s a good eye-opener for them.”
This is Vin Causeman’s cause.
The former all-county shortstop for MacArthur, who’s now a social studies teacher there, founded the game in 2016.
His son, 16-year-old Ryan, and his daughter, 14-year-old Haley, are on the autism spectrum. They were among those throwing out ceremonial first pitches.
The Skip Fund, created in honor of Causeman’s late former teammate, Anthony Mariano, donated the jerseys. The Wantagh-based John Theissen Children’s Foundation also donated toward the event. Proceeds from raffle sales at the game are going to Seaford’s Hagedorn Little Village School for kids with developmental disabilities.
“It’s so important for the community to come together and continue to spread awareness and acceptance for people living with autism,” Causeman said. “We’ve made great strides.”
“It means a lot to me to help the team win,” McGrath said.
“It’s a great day,” Generals coach Steve Costello said, emphasizing the bigger picture. “I think both Coach Giv at Plainview and myself were also using it as a way to kind of audition pitchers.”