After Luigi Militello refused a monetary reward for returning a 2013 Red Sox World Series ring to Drew Weber, a minor league baseball team owner who left the ring at Militello’s Manhattan restaurant last week, a grateful Weber came up with two accepted alternatives.
First, Weber arranged for Militello, a huge Yankees fan, to come to Fenway Park in Boston for Derek Jeter’s last game.
And instead of a giving a cash reward to Militello, Weber offered to make a donation to a charity of Militello’s choosing. He picked the Ocean Beach Community Fund, which supports beautification efforts in the Fire Island village.
“I spent my summers as a child in Ocean Beach and they got hurt by Sandy,” said Militello, who lives in Queens but continues to visit Ocean Beach. “I thought it’d be a good cause to donate to.”
Weber, a Rockville Centre native, was given the championship ring as an executive of the Red Sox organization. He owns the Lowell Spinners, a Red Sox Class A minor league team in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Weber wouldn’t divulge how much he planned to donate, calling it “very personal.”
John Schaffner, chairman of the Ocean Beach Community Fund, said Tuesday that he was “quite surprised” when he learned Weber would be making a donation. “I thought it was a noble thing for him to do. We haven’t gotten the check yet, but I’m sure it will be generous.”
Although Schaffner has never met Militello, he said he’s well-known in the community and has supported the Ocean Beach Community Fund in the past.
Schaffner said Weber’s donation will go toward repairing the Community House and supporting the community’s youth group. He said the organization has been struggling financially since it recently remodeled the community playground, which was damaged by superstorm Sandy.
The group will be hosting a fundraiser called “Out of the Blue” on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the the Community house. Proceeds from the $75-per-person event will support energy-efficient air conditioning for the community house.
For more information, call co-chairman Rita Silver at 917-837-4001.