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Boardy Barn owners lead Hampton Bays parade

Mickey Shields, left, and Tony Galgano will be

Mickey Shields, left, and Tony Galgano will be the grand marshals of the seventh annual Hampton Bays St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday. Photo Credit: Handout

Tony Galgano and Michael “Mickey” Shields are known for their quiet acts of kindness and their popular Hamptons watering hole.

And on Saturday, the owners of the Boardy Barn will be the grand marshals of the seventh annual Hampton Bays St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“They don’t want a light on them,” said former Southampton Town Supervisor Patrick Heaney, vice president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Michael Collins Division 11, which sponsors the parade. “Both Mickey and Tony have demonstrated over decades their commitment to helping people in need and raising funds for causes in the Town of Southampton. This is really just a humble way of saying thank you to them.”

For years, Galgano and Shields have offered the use of their bar, the Boardy Barn, to help raise money for individuals facing catastrophic illness or other hardships.

Parade chairman John Ryan said Galgano and Shields are “humble people. Since day one, from the very start of the parade they’ve been on the top of the list to be grand marshals. Most of the time, they’ve shied away from the honor, thinking other people deserve it more than themselves.”

Shields and Galgano teamed up in 1974, both in business and in their quest to serve others.

"They’re very well respected men in the community,” said George Brogan, chairman of the parade journal. “Their personalities are really, really great. They'll do anything for you."

Choosing them to be grand marshals, Heaney said, “was a really easy decision.”

Galgano was raised in Freeport and attended Bishop Loughlin High School and Hofstra University. After three years in the Army, Galgano opened the Boardy Barn. Galgano is a member of the Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce, the Hampton Bays Booster Club and an honorary member the Hampton Bays Fire Department. He and his wife Wendy will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this year and have two children and five grandchildren.

Shields is a Brooklyn native and attended Brooklyn Prep. He moved to Los Angeles – leaving his beloved Dodgers behind – and worked as a bartender before serving in the U.S. Air Force in the 1960s in Alaska. He and his wife Maryann have two children, Michael and Brian.

Dennis O’Rourke, who helps organize the parade’s lineup and run the event, said Galgano and Shields have made contributions to local organizations, including the fire department and the volunteer ambulance corp.

“They do little things – random acts of kindness,” O’Rourke said. “There have been several occasions where Tony would pay for someone’s lunch and ask that they not be told that he paid. If you have a cause or want to raise money for someone who is sick or hurt, they’ll let you have the Boardy Barn without question.”

The parade kicks off 11 a.m. Saturday at Hampton Bays Middle School on Ponquogue Avenue.

Photo: Mickey Shields, left, and Tony Galgano, right, are the grand marshals of the 7th Annual Hampton Bays St. Patrick's Day Parade.  

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