Dedication Ceremony - 9 September 2017
The Sergeant Timothy J. Henck Memorial Field
Named for a Hometown Hero
The Sayville School District in collaboration with the Suffolk County Police Department held a special dedication ceremony at the new Sayville Multisport Athletic Turf Field to honor a Sayville alumnus: Sergeant Timothy J. Henck, a Sayville resident, a husband, and new father, who died in the line of duty in 1995. His great sacrifice was also a tremendous loss to many in the community. Not one to forget, the Sayville community and the SCPD had set up a memorial stone and plaque situated in a lovely garden on the northeast corner of the athletic field in the late nineties.
However, it was after the Bond Referendum—which included funding the installation of a turf field—had passed in May of 2015, that the Sayville School District Board of Education and District Administrators held discussions about the construction of the field and agreed to name the turf field in honor of Sayville’s hometown hero.
The recent dedication ceremony, held on a beautiful Saturday, September 9, 2017, was a moving tribute to Henck’s legacy. The Suffolk County Police Officer’s Emerald Society Pipe Band marched onto the field to open the ceremony and Sayville Sophomore Isabella Arzt sang the National Anthem.
While Sayville Superintendent Dr. John Stimmel welcomed everyone to the ceremony—during which the SCPD Helicopter flew overhead as an aerial salute—he acknowledged the dedication and commitment of so many workers, staff and volunteers** who made the field and the event possible, but particularly BOE trustee Thomas Cooley whose “dedication to your friend, to the school district, and to your community that you love, has provided the inspiration that makes today so much more than simply the grand opening of an athletic field. Mr. Cooley, your actions reflect the best of Sayville and we thank you for that.”
In addition, Dr. Stimmel especially recognized Assistant Superintendent John J. Belmonte for his extraordinary efforts; he was the one individual who “poured out his heart and soul,” he was both the “coach” and “conductor” of the entire project …and proved to be ”a very special leader who took the vision and made it a reality.... I would like to ...thank him for the time, energy and commitment that he has devoted to Sayville."
Dr. Stimmel’s remarks were followed by Sayville Board of Education President Keith Kolar and Vice President John Verdone who spoke on behalf of Tom Cooley, the fellow trustee and long-time, close friend of Tim Henck and his family.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini, Department Chief Stuart Cameron, and Fifth Precinct Commanding Officer Inspector William Silva also shared their memories and praise for Sergeant Timothy J. Henck and showed tremendous appreciation for the workmanship that went into installing such a outstanding turf field. In addition, Detective Brian Curry, President of the Fifth Precinct Alliance, presented Sayville with a generous donation of $15,000 to fund the Sergeant Timothy J. Henck Memorial Field scoreboard.
The celebration of this hometown hero was well attended. Henck’s widow Kathy and his daughter Jennifer, who was six weeks when he died, were touched by the sentiments of the Sayville School District, Board of Education and the many members of the SCPD who came out in force to show their respect, including John Cowie, President of Superior Officers Association, James Hughes, President Detectives Association and Noel DiGeroloam, President of the PBA.
“I hope,” Dr. Stimmel said in closing, that all who use this field will “remember Sergeant Henck and the ideals that he stood for.”
**A facility of this complexity could not be complete without the contributions of dozens and dozens of individuals:
- The Bond Committee members
- Campbell and Cassetta Architects
- RDA – Bob Retnauer ---our landscape architect
- EMTEC- John Halama---our engineers
- Laser industries-with special thanks to Joe Kelly (project manager) and his team; Our turf contractor
- Welsbach Electric- Harvey Backwith
- Belfor-Travis Kaiser and Brian Salva-the project manager for the new team rooms, concession stand, and public bathrooms
- The Sayville Board of Education for their unwavering commitment to our students
Click below for the full-length video of the ceremony