THIELLS – Above the noise of hundreds of children and teenagers frolicking about the confines of North Rockland High School, above the tunes coming out of the DJ’s speakers on the football fields, a car alarm rang through the air at the second annual “Sports Day” for charity.
While it would be conceivable, even assumed, to think the ruckus could be coming from one of the cars crammed into the school’s annex parking lot, the commotion was actually traced to the event’s Zumba station, where Rachael Santos and her crew teammates were dancing along to the energetic sounds.
“It was very interesting. I never really heard anything like it (in a song),” said Santos, a sophomore, who added she would likely bust a move the next time someone’s alarm is going off. “I’ll be like, ‘Oh, I know this dance!’”
When not taking part in the Saturday-afternoon jam session, Santos and her teammates ran one of the 25 sports stations at the event, which raises money for charities such as Stand Up to Cancer, Friends of Karen, and the Boomer Esiason Foundation.
“It’s really fun to see a little kid wanting to participate (in crew), it just warms my heart,” she said, pressing her cupped hands against her chest.
Those kids could, with any luck, be the Red Raiders of tomorrow.
Junior varsity girls lacrosse player Emily Guzinski spent her time instructing boys and girls of varying ages in everything from cradling, to shooting, to fancy ball-handling tricks.
“It’s hard controlling the ball when they’re young because they don’t have the same skill level, but they learn quickly and they pick it up easily,” said Guzinski, an eighth-grader. “I had a bunch of kids earlier who were saying they were going to try out for the lacrosse team. That’s awesome, that’s what we want.”
Members of the North Rockland baseball team got an early look at a potential under-the-radar recruit in 12-year-old Alan Tat, who was hitting ropes from both sides of the plate despite it being just his third time playing the game.
“I only do swimming, soccer, and martial arts,” said Tat, a second-degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, a Korean-style form of fighting that combines elements of karate and kung fu. “I just like the feel of (baseball). I like the adrenaline in you.”
Event coordinator Jen LaBier, the North Rockland varsity tennis coach, estimated close to $20,000 had been raised, with the goal of $15,000 being reached before the start of the event. Additional money was raised Saturday through admission fees, T-shirt sales, and food and drink sales. North Rockland security said approximately 2,000 people came and went throughout the day.
LaBier and her third-grade Stony Point Elementary class locked down more than 80 sponsors for the event, at various levels of contribution.
Sabrett, one of five platinum sponsors, donated 1,200 hot dogs, onions, mustard, and the use of a cart, while Nanuet’s Rockland Bakery donated the buns. Brega Transport Corporation, which is based in Valley Cottage, pledged to buy any unsold hot dogs.