Sports stars participate in Viscardi Center fundraiser
By: Bernadette Starzee May 20, 2019
A day after slugging three home runs for the New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres was a hit at The Viscardi Center’s main fundraising event, Celebrity Sports Night.
The promising infielder, who was an All-Star and an American League Rookie of the Year contender last year, was honored as Sportsman of the Year by the Albertson organization, which provides education, vocational and related services to children and adults with disabilities.
Torres was one of more than a dozen athletes who posed for photos, signed autographs and participated in on-stage festivities with Henry Viscardi School students and alumni at last Thursday’s event. Other athletes in attendance included former New York Mets Art Shamsky, Ron Swoboda, Turk Wendell and Tim Teufel, retired New York Ranger Ron Duguay, former New York Islander Clark Gillies and former National Football League players Wesley Walker, John Nitti and Gary Brown. Sarah Reinertsen, a Paralympian and Ironman triathlete, was honored with the Roy Campanella Award during the evening’s festivities.
The organization also honored the life of John Gutleber, who was president and CEO of Castagna Realty and who served on The Viscardi Center’s board of directors for more than 25 years. Gutleber passed away last year. The Viscardi Center President and CEO John Kemp announced that a complete renovation of the center’s pool, locker room and surrounding area is underway and, when reopened, will be rechristened The John J. Gutleber Aquatic Center and will be dedicated by Castagna Realty. Kemp also announced that a $900,000 donation to Adelphi University has established a scholarship fund for graduates of the Henry Viscardi School in memory of Gutleber and will be matched by Adelphi’s board of trustees.
The event, which was attended by about 550 people, also included a live auction and online auction featuring one-of-a-kind sports memorabilia and experiential items. Former New York Sen. Jack Martins served as the evening’s emcee.