The Central Nassau Little League Association opened the spring season with its annual parade last Saturday. League officials, ballplayers and parents congregated outside of Carvel on Carman Avenue under bright and sunny skies to kick off the festivities.
Normally a spirited, joyous affair, this year‚Äôs parade carried a somber undertone as the league remembered Harlie Treanor, an 11-year-old who died on July 4, 2012, in a boating accident in Oyster Bay.
Harlie, who had moved with her family from East Meadow to Huntington Station just weeks before the accident, had played in the Central Nassau Little League.
As a tribute to Harlie, hundreds of parade attendees released balloons into the sky in synchronization, and watched as they drifted away, a solemn reminder that Harlie will never be forgotten. Indeed, throughout the season, every uniform will bear the initials ‚ÄúH.T.‚ÄĚ to commemorate the 11-year-old.
Harlie‚Äôs parents Joy Ambrosio and Kevin Treanor, and sister Maddie Treanor were on hand for the ceremony.
‚ÄúIt meant a lot to me [to commemorate Harlie], as well as the kids that played with her last year, as well as her classmates,‚ÄĚ said league president Joe Aloi, who coached Harlie last year.
The parade was also dedicated to Joe Rivera, a longtime proprietor of the snack stands at the Carman Avenue tee fields, who recently passed away.
The parade atendees then began their traditional march to the Salisbury Ball Field on Salisbury Park Drive, but not before W.T. Clarke High School juniors Jenna Kennedy and Danielle Ragusa performed a rousing rendition of the National Anthem.
Central Nassau Little League, a local staple for more than 50 years, takes in kids from ages 4 to 14 from East Meadow, Salisbury and Westbury.