MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation and Musco Lighting Partner to Fund Snug Harbor Little League Livingston Complex Field Lighting
SHLL Realizes Decades-Long Goal of Field Lighting to Expand Opportunities for Local Youth
STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK – The MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation (YDF), in collaboration with Musco Lighting, announced plans to support the funding and installation of field lighting at Snug Harbor Little League’s (SHLL) Livingston Complex, located in Staten Island, NY. Installation is slated to be complete in time for the start of the 2023 SHLL season.
Since 1964, SHLL has met the recreational needs of Staten Island’s North Shore youth and families. However, as the borough’s only league without field lighting across its two baseball fields and softball field, SHLL has faced barriers with scheduling and programming ancillary events for the local community.
This project, which has been decades in the making due to several attempts to gain the necessary approvals from neighborhood residents living near the complex and capital funding, will allow Staten Island’s North Shore community to access the ballparks for both daytime and nighttime activities. Additionally, with new lighting systems in place at the complex’s three fields, SHLL can now host additional games during the fall and expand its enrollment numbers to be in line with other leagues in the borough.
The lighting project has been years in the making, achieving the vision of the late former league president, Anthony Varvaro. Varvaro, a former MLB pitcher and Port Authority Police Officer, dedicated countless hours serving the SHLL community and working to make the league’s longstanding goal of field lighting a reality before dying tragically in a work-related automobile accident on September 11, 2022.
“Snug Harbor Little League and the surrounding community are beyond grateful for the collaboration of both Musco and YDF to provide the means necessary to make Anthony’s vision to upgrade the facilities at Snug Harbor a reality,” Dennis Thomson, SHLL President and brother-in-law to Anthony Varvaro, said. “This will serve the children of Snug Harbor for decades to come and help in the development of both baseball and softball on the North Shore of Staten Island.”
Prior to his passing, Varvaro went door to door to get proper signoffs from neighbors as well as approval from the community board. While the Borough President approved the lighting, funding fell through, which led to SHLL’s outreach to YDF and Musco.
See our previous article on Funding secured by Asm. Charles Fall.
“Snug Harbor Little League is a very special place for our family. There has been a lot of work done in a very short time and Anthony would be so proud of this project,” Kerry Varvaro, Anthony’s wife said. “We are extremely grateful to everyone who contributed to make his dream a reality.”
In 2016, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) joined together to form the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, with a charitable mission of increasing participation in, and expanding access to, youth baseball and softball across the United States and internationally. Since its inception, YDF has awarded $25.1 million dollars and 270 grants to community-based projects, such as the SHLL complex field lighting initiative, in over 41 states and territories to encourage and empower youth through baseball and softball – on and off the field – in underserved communities.
“We are honored to bring to life a dream that Anthony Varvaro worked so hard to achieve,” said Jean Lee Batrus, Executive Director of the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation. “His efforts personify our commitment to expand opportunities for participation in youth sports in areas like Snug Harbor. Thanks in part to our generous partner, Musco Lighting, we are excited to invest in initiatives that both support and foster future baseball and softball opportunities for youth in our communities.”
SHLL has taught on and off the field lessons to thousands of kids since its inception. Last year, the league provided the opportunity for over 550 boys and girls of the diverse community as young as 4 to 13-years-old (boys), and up to 16-years-old for girls, to compete in over 300 games. The league strives to instill the values of good sportsmanship, honesty, loyalty, and hard work in both the games of baseball and softball, along with those values that hold true in life. By creating a safe, competitive, and fun environment nestled away from the hustle and bustle of New York City, the kids learn how to play the game, compete on the field and at the same time enjoy and make lifelong friendships.
The new, custom LED lighting systems provided by Musco Lighting will help expand programming opportunities and better serve Snug Harbor Little League’s baseball and softball teams.
“Anthony was always working to make a difference in his community,” said Jeff Rogers, President of Musco. “This league is entirely focused on doing what’s best for the kids, and the way they’ve stayed committed and overcome so many challenges over the years is something we continue to be impressed by. Musco is very proud to help move Anthony’s legacy forward by making this project a reality along with our exceptional partners at MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation.”
About MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation
MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation (YDF) is a joint initiative by Major League Baseball and the Players Association to support efforts that focus on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and internationally. From local-based programs to the Hank Aaron Invitational and HBCU Swingman Classic, the foundation helps make youth baseball and softball more accessible – creating economic opportunities, strengthening communities, and building character – on and off the field. Click to learn more.
Since 1976, Musco Lighting has specialized in the design and manufacture of sports and transportation/infrastructure lighting solutions. Musco’s Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is the solution of choice for new and retrofit installations at hometown fields, professional stadiums, international superspeedways, Olympic Games, and the biggest ports, airports, and railyards in the world. Musco’s facility solutions also include Show-Light® entertainment package, the Mini-Pitch System™ modular sports solution, MuscoVision® automated sports broadcasting, and the Communication-Structure System™ monopole for wireless Internet. All Musco’s solutions are backed by long-term parts and labor warranties.
Banner Image: SHLL Aerial View. Image Credit – SHLL