Alumni of the Bellmore Merrick Roller Hockey League, in existence since 1980, played their annual alumni roller hockey game last Saturday, April 26, to raise funds for the league through the sale of T-shirts, raffles and memorabilia.
“This is a great day for the league and it is great fun,” remarked Dan Ginsberg, who makes the drive from Long Beach for the game yearly. “We can all get together and play like we used to when we were in the league.”
Fred Brandonberger, a Mepham graduate who was selling T-shirts for the alumni cause, said that every year the word spreads even more about the event. “As alumni, we sell raffles on the memorabilia, which helps to pay for things the league needs to continue to exist,” he said.
Kevin Rollando, whose father Rich helped found the league in 1980, said that the “league had given us a chance to make something of ourselves and to play a game we loved to play, so we are here to give back to the community by raising funds to help maintain the league,” while playing with teammates they all played with in the league years ago.
Alumni teams pose with the Alumni Cup after playing their annual Alumni game.
During warmups and before the alumni games began, alumni players were inducted into the Hall of Fame, such as Pat Briglia, Sam Slutsky and Pat McCaffrey. Retiring from the league and presented plaques from the league were Peter Purpue, Mike Vento and Mike Lugassy.
Said Purpue of his retirement, “I won’t be able to play anymore because I’m going to a university outside of the area.” But he insisted he would be back to volunteer his time for the league cause.
Alumni Al Manara was surprised when the Alumni Cup, which the alumni play for each year, was dedicated to his mother Maxine this year. I’m speechless. I’ve been in this league since I’m 5,” he told this website, and his mother could always been seen around the rink helping organize things and raising funds. His father, he added, helped found the league.
Bellmore Merrick Roller Hockey alumni and their families were out on a bright gorgeous day during the annual BMRH Alumni game
Meanwhile, Luke Lane of Dinkelmeyer School in North Bellmore dropped the ceremonial face-off puck, as he was named an honorary coach of the league. Luke is battling a childhood disease.
Both state Assemblyman Dave McDonough and county Legislator Dave Denenberg were on hand to present citations to deserving alumni on the occasion of their annual game.
Luke Lane of Dinkelmeyer School in North Bellmore was named Honorary Coach at this year’s alumni event.
As to a player, the Bellmopre Merrick Roller Hockey alumni all agreed on a variation of a motto made famous by NHL coach Bob Johnson: It’s a great day to play roller hockey!
Indeed it was …