John Farese of West Sayville, a junior at Sayville High School, spends most of his spare time in the business of giving. He has collected 10,000 pieces of gently used sports equipment and distributed them to organizations that needed them in an effort he calls “Operation Sports
Now Farese gets to do a little receiving. He has been named the recipient of the 2011 Presidents Leadership Award from the U.S. Golf Association and American Junior Golf Association. The honor is given to one boy and one girl nationally for having demonstrated leadership, character and community service.
He will be given his award June 30 during the Rolex Tournament of Champions in Sunriver, Ore. Farese will be given four tickets to the U.S. Open of his choice (speculation is that it is coming back to Long Island, at Shinnecock Hills, in 2018) and access to the USGA hospitality tent during that Open.
Farese began his equipment project when he was umpiring for the Sayville Little League and heard that the Brentwood Little League needed bats, balls, helmets, masks and uniforms.
“I never expected this to last past more than just a few donations," he told Newsday in January. "I think that all kids should be able to participate in sports and have the proper equipment to play."
A member of Sayville’s golf team, Farese also gives his time as a weekly volunteer at Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Sayville and is on the Tri-M Music Honor Society, Chemistry Club and Mathletes.