There was a special showing of how much Johnston people care about their youth.
That trait, if you will, came during the Johnston Little League’s 2019 Awards Dinner at famed Wright’s Farm in Burrillville.
It came in form of countless businesses donating what someone called “a bundle of gift certificates” for the night’s raffle from which proceeds will be used to continue the JLL’s tradition of excellence that is now officially 57 years young.
It came in form of people like State Sen. Frank Lombardo, School Committee Chairman Robert LaFazia and member Susan Mansolillo purchasing raffle tickets to further help boost the JLL’s coffers.
It came in form of Doug Jeffrey, who once managed the JLL Major Division Yankees and now serves Chief of Staff for Mayor Joseph Polisena, giving up a night to again perform his annual duties as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.
Jeffrey, in fact, conducted the night’s fun-filled raffle with John Simao, the JLL”s long-serving vice president who is also known around the league for his tireless and on-going extraordinary contributions to the program for the past 15 years.
There was yet more support – super support as veteran JLL President Ed Bedrosian let it be known – from Rhode Island District I Commissioner John Pesaturo.
“John has been a great friend of our league,” said Bedrosian, who has led the JLL for the past 15 years and has as much pride in the program as Simao, Jeffrey and Robert Civetti, who has been with the Major Division Orioles for 38 years and counting.
While it was the Town Champion O’s night to shine, replete with coming to the dinner with spiffy personalized T-shirts and later received their championship trophies along with beautiful hooded and embroidered sweatshirts with each player’s name and uniform number.
“This group of kids is real, real special,” said Civetti, who once served as an assistant coach when his father managed the O’s. “(Manager) Mike Mousseau, Coach Raffael and myself are thrilled for these kids. They were down but came bouncing back to win the title.”
It was the Orioles fourth such title in the past nine years and seventh time the beloved birds – whose colors are orange and black just like the Baltimore Orioles – have been in the Town Championship Finals in the past nine years.
The JLL also honored its Junior League State Champion All-Stars, regular season champion Cardinals, Town Champion Orioles, 11-12 year old All-Stars and 9-10 All-Stars.
The 11-12 All-Stars included: Manager Erik Martins, Coaches Josh Small and Paul Scorpio and players Gabriel Lopez, Logan Martins, Dean Paris, Paul Scorpio, Ronald Vento, Sebastian Small, Angelo Evangelista, Brandon Simonelli, Nicholas D’Aquila, Matthew Clements, Nathanial Wiggins, Jason Schino and Anthony Vendetti.
Harry Ogden served as manager for 6he 9-10 All-Stars and his coaches were Marc Waterman and Jaime Ricci. Players were: Ethan Bracey, Alexander Amaral, Cayden Grenkiewicz, Jacob Rankin, Lyalo Harrison, Aiden Neil, Antonio Morales, Fabian Aleman, Luca Ricci, Ryan Waterman, Corey Ogden, William Ferrara and Giovanni Celani.