Batavia’s City Council may put McCarthy’s name on ice arena
"I saw that the naming rights were becoming available. I thought that having my friend, David McCarthy, who I played hockey with ... I thought his name should be on the building." Pellegrino Auto Sales owner Guy Pellegrino said Monday afternoon. "He was a class act and a great hockey player and a great friend."
Pellegrino said he met with the McCarthy Foundation's board, led by board President Brian McCarthy--David McCarthy's younger brother--and including David's father, Mike McCarthy. The pact would be between the city and Pellegrino AutoSales/the McCarthy Foundation.
"I asked if it would be OK, if I could put David's name on the building. They obviously were very happy to hear that," Pellegrino said. "I wanted to honor my friend and there's no better name that can go on that building, as far as I'm concerned."
REMEMBERING DAVID McCARTHY
Assistant City Manager Jill Wiedrick, who worked with Pellegrino and Brian McCarthy spoke about David McCarthy during Monday's meeting. She said David McCarthy grew up in Batavia and was a fixture at the ice , playing for the Ramparts in the Genesee Amateur Hockey Association (GAHA). At Batavia High School, he was captain of a varsity team that finished as the runner-up in Division I in 1994-95.
"David was a passionate leader throughout his career and Batavia Ice Arena was like a sanctuary for him" Wiedrick said. "If David wasn't home you could find him at the Arena at Skate and Shoot after school or at Friday night Open Skate."
David McCarthy, 29, was killed Nov. 2, 2006, a little over 15 years ago, in a motor vehicle accident. McCarthy is survived by his wife, Lori McCarthy, and three children--daughters, Madeline and Alli, and son Logan.
"One of the things I found the most heartwarming was that a foundation, out of a tragedy, was started," Wiedrick said, "Over the course of these years, since 2006, the foundation has donated over $80,000 to youth sports. They've had a huge impact in our area."
THE McCARTHY FOUNDATION
Brian McCarthy spoke on behalf of the McCarthy Foundation, recalling when Pellegrino approached them with his proposal.
"Our family was just blown away that he wanted to do this and we thought 'Well, what can we do'?" McCarthy told the Council. "What we bring to the table is ... a charitable foundation that is passionate about improving and supporting youth athletics in Genesee County. We're very proud of our long and diverse list of organizations that we've been able to support over the last 15 years."
The other thing the foundation brings to the ice rink is a following in and the support of the community, Brian McCarthy said.
"We're excited to takethat recipe and join forces with the people that have been working hard for years to make the ice rink an amazing place, maybe even add a little more to the equation," he said.
McCarthy said he and Pellegrino are both coaching their youngest sons in hockey at the beginner level.
"We've got an amazing hockey adventure we're just embarking on, coaching together. You talk about the future of the ice rink over the next 10 years, nobody's going to be more invested than these two guys," he said, referring to himself and McCarthy. "We're going to be living down the street here at the ice rink."
Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. thanked Pellegrino and Brian McCarthy for getting involved and thinking about a long-term agreement for naming rights, not just a deal for a couple of years.
"It (the arena) definitely needs some ownership from the public with the foundation and so on, to really put your elbow grease into the rink. We want to do whatever we can to help. We're limited in some ways. Any help you can provide is awesome."
Councilmember Tammy Schmidt said her son grew up at the rink and her grandson goes there now.
"I spent countless hours at the rink, running hockey tournaments," she said. "I'm very proud of this proposal and the name that's going on (the building) and I hope you're going to do great things."
Councilperson-At-Large Bob Bialkowski said it's great to see someone local getting involved.
"This could have some out-of-town person advertising some new soda or something," he said. "Than you guys."
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