Luck of the Ducks: Baseball team hosts Irish Heritage Night

Jane Pino of Islip Terrace gets into the spirit of Irish Night at Bethpage Ballpark. (Photo by Sebastian Germosen.)

By Emily Bishop
The Stony Brook School

At the Long Island Ducks game on Wednesday, July 18, Kathy Fels proudly wore an Irish hat that her husband had bought and decorated. She had put the hat away in a closet after his death, but since she was going to Irish night, she figured it was a good reason to bring it out.

“Themed nights are good,” the Lindenhurst resident said. “Everyone gets into it.”

Irish Night at Bethpage Ballpark is an opportunity for families to enjoy some of the culture and traditions of Ireland. In addition to Irish-themed graphics on the Jumbotron and Irish music playing over the speakers, fans were treated to a performance of the Irish national anthem before the first pitch. And the first 1,500 fans to arrive received commemorative cups, courtesy of Shandon Court, a local Irish restaurant.

Robert Mulvey of South Farmingdale celebrates Irish night with a irish themed Ducks costume. (Photo by Sebastian Germosen.)

“We try to offer something for every group,” said Michael Polak, director of media relations and broadcasting.

The Ducks have been scheduling an increasing number of themed nights. Other events in the schedule include a Jewish Heritage Night, Heart Health Night, and an Anti-Bullying Night.

In addition to raising awareness for important causes and diverse cultures, themed evenings have also boosted ticket sales, according to Ducks president and general manager Michael Pfaff. Many fans said they came to Wednesday’s game because of the special theme.

“There are about 1,500 seats [sold] in a 1,600-seat stadium,” Pfaff said. “People are interested in Irish Heritage Night.”

Fans are drawn to the Irish step dancers as a highlight of the evening.

Ducks fan Therese Parks, part Irish, attended Wednesday’s game to honor her heritage.

“Irish people are happy and spirited,” she said, “so yeah, it’s good.”

Emily Bishop: Already an award-winning writer

By Lauren Nicks
Baldwin High School

Emily Bishop’s passion for writing piqued her interest in journalism as a potential career.

“My school doesn’t have any journalism classes, but I’ve always loved writing,” said Bishop, a 17-year-old student at The Stony Brook School.

Her passion led to her joining the school’s Journalism Club. It was during those after-school Journalism Club meetings where Bishop realized that writing was the perfect career for her.

“The idea of myself reading and reporting news to the student body was amazing,” she said. “I liked that. That’s where I’m comfortable. I like being in front of people and telling stories.”

Emily’s talent for journalism is widely noticed by her family, most notably her mother, Cheryl Bishop.

“Emily has loved all stories from a young age and was an avid reader even in elementary school,” Ms. Bishop said. “She wrote some outstanding essays then and had a poem selected for publication in a local community newspaper. I think that emboldened her to say she really enjoyed writing and considered it as a possible career.”

While Emily possesses superior writing skills − demonstrated by her annual winning of The Stony Brook School Writing Contest − her mother believes her curiosity makes her a good fit for journalism.

“She understands writing and has demonstrated capability,” Cheryl said. “She has done well in photography at school and enjoys it, but sometimes she is curious about how she could possibly become a host on the Today Show.”
Both Emily and her mother Cheryl believe that the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute at Stony Brook University is the perfect opportunity for Emily to gain insight on the inner workings of news organizations.

“The Stony Brook program appears to capture beginning to end of communicating in front of and behind the camera,” Cheryl said. “So I hope this helps Emily decide what area she might prefer or if journalism is even the best field for her to express herself.”

The week-long program Emily and other aspiring journalists are about to embark on is designed to provide training in skills that are necessary to the field of journalism. It will also allow students to meet and network with media professionals.

“I’m looking forward to a hands-on experience in tech and broadcast,” Emily said. “That’s something I don’t know anything about.”

Emily is also a ballet dancer. She has trained for over 10 years, and watched performances by famous companies such as the American Ballet Theatre at Lincoln Center.

While journalism isn’t Emily’s only topic of interest, she said it is the one that keeps calling her back. Emily believes that by attending the Greene Institute, she’ll discover if journalism is truly the career for her. She’s also keen on studying history and French in college, but she would really love to give journalism a shot.

“No matter what, I’d like to continue working on writing,” she said. “For me, writing is just something that comes naturally. I found my niche and became really comfortable about my writing, and it’s felt like that ever since.”

First Impressions

It’s hard to believe we’ve only been here for one day. So far we’ve already brainstormed about potential articles, learned the insiders tricks for conducting a good interview, and had an inspiring photography lesson. I think I’m not the only one who would say we’ve  had fun along the way, too. I loved bonding with my fellow Greene Team members over ice cream and trying not to get lost on our way back to the dorm. I can’t wait to make more great memories!