June 7, 2005
More than 1,200 athletes from the five boroughs of New York City, Long Island and Hudson Valley were in attendance, accompanied by more than 350 coaches and approximately 800 volunteers.
Despite a gray and drizzly morning, the 2005 Metro Tournament at Riverbank State Park turned into a beautiful, sunny day by the time Opening Ceremonies began. The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) provided parade marshals, a color guard, bagpipe and drum corps, and accompanied the Parade of Athletes into the track and field arena.
New York Lottery’s Yolanda Vega was her usual upbeat and charismatic self as the emcee of Opening Ceremonies. Several elected officials also came out to cheer the athletes on; Congressman Charles Rangel, Speaker Gifford Miller, Councilmember Robert Jackson and Commissioner Ken Podziba. Opening Ceremonies highlights included the P.S. 194 Chorus singing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (with many athletes dancing along,) and a touching tribute to longtime SONY friend, advocate and hero Peter Loeb. After a moment of silence, Marla Greenspan, former SONY board member, presented a memento to Mrs. Jeanette Loeb, complete with a ceremonial shot from a starter’s pistol.
After the torch was run into the field and the cauldron lit, Board Member Anthony Bifaro proclaimed “Let the Games Begin!” Athletes competed in aquatics, basketball, powerlifting, softball throw, track & field and volleyball. The facilities at Riverbank provided a lovely backdrop against the Hudson River, for the 9th annual Metro Tournament. There were many wonderful athlete accomplishments, contagious enthusiasm and exciting moments in every sport.
As part of their “Impact Day,” Deloitte & Touche volunteers joined a large contingent from the FDNY to help with set-up on Friday.
Key sponsors included Goldman Sachs, Mattel, New York Lottery, NYSUT, New York Sports Club, Oppenheimer Funds, Ross Stores and United Federation of Teachers. Blimpie provided lunches and Coca Cola beverages again this year.