At the ceremony, Recreation Superintendent Pete Amadeo explained that the funding process began last March when Mayor Jimmy Davis contacted him about providing information for a federal grant application. Amadeoâ€™s feeling at the time was that â€œthe chances were smallâ€ for receiving the grant. Months passed. On December 23, 2022, Mayor Davis advised Amadeo that the grant application was a success. Speaking on Saturday, Amadeo thanked Mayor Davis, the City Council, the Public Works Department, the Police Department, the Fire Department, the Office of Emergency Management, the Bayonne Board of Education, Bayonne High School, Bayonne Little League, the Bayonne PAL, and everyone else for their support. â€œBuddy Baseball brought the whole town together,â€ Amadeo said.
Addressing the crowd at the ceremony, Mayor Davis called Pete Amadeo â€œthe hardest-working person I know.â€ Mayor Davis thanked U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker for supporting the $1 million grant for the ballfield. Referring to the Buddy Baseball players, the mayor said, â€œWe hit the lottery in these children.â€
Superintendent of Schools John Niesz called Buddy Baseball â€œabsolutely amazing.â€ He described Buddy Baseball as being â€œa big part of everything we do.â€
Jennifer Vecchiarelli, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services for the Bayonne Board of Education, thanked Pete Amadeo, Mayor Davis, the City Council, the Board of Education, and the City of Bayonne â€œfor this beautiful field.â€
Hudson County Commissioner and Assistant Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Kopacz said, â€œThe field is second to none.â€ He called Pete Amadeo â€œthe best Recreation Director in the State of New Jersey.â€
November 2023 will mark the tenth anniversary of special needs sports in Bayonne. Principal Maureen Hurley Brown of Woodrow Wilson Community School said that â€œthe one constantâ€ in those programs is Pete Amadeo.
Speaking about Buddy Baseball on behalf of the City Council, Council President Gary LaPelusa said, â€œEveryone here does such a great job.â€ He congratulated Buddy Baseball on receiving the federal grant, and said that the Council is proud of the ballplayers.
The ceremony ended with several of the Buddy Baseball players and adults popping tubes of sparkling confetti in celebration.