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North Babylon to honor Dan Gambardella tomorrow
The North Babylon baseball team will honor Dan Gambardella tomorrow when the team hosts Copiague at 4 p.m. Gambardella and his friend Larry Scuderi were on their way to work and were killed by a drunk driver on the Wantagh State Parkway on April 30, 2011.
Many of the program’s players and other young people in the community were at one time coached by Gambardella in both soccer and baseball. One of those players is his son Danny Gambardella Jr., who is on the varsity baseball team. The junior plays third base and bats third in the lineup. He is second on the team with a .333 average and leads the team with 10 RBIs.
Dan coached his son and his friends from when they were in the North Babylon Youth League T-ball team through Little League. His wife Linda is now very committed and involved in the MADD organization and to keep Dan's memory alive.
The baseball team will be playing their game in Dan's honor and memory. They will be wearing special jerseys with the MADD logo on the front and their number and the name Gambardella on the back.
"We don't want to see anyone drink and drive," North Babylon coach Steve Corrado said. "If we can stop one person from doing it or save one life it's a big thing. The loss of Dan was a big one for the community."
After the game, parents of both the varsity and junior varsity teams will be cooking dinner for the teams as a memorial dinner. Donations were received and Yankees tickets, Mets tickets, Jets tickets, restaurant gift cards, store gift cards, etc. will be auctioned off.
The players on the baseball spent hours during their lunch periods during the school day selling popcorn to the students of North Babylon to raise money for the MADD organization. To date, they have raised more than $2,500.
The proceeds will be going to Linda, who will be doing a walk for MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) on June 2nd. The North Babylon Youth League is also forming a Memorial Fund to aid other families in crisis.