Volume 16 • Issue 53 | May 28 - June 3, 2004

A few whacks for P.S./I.S. 89

In life as in art. On HBO’S “The Sopranos” Steven Schirripa, above, plays the only decent parent, Bobby Bacala, in the mob, and in real life, he has children attending both P.S. and I.S. 89 in Batery Park City. So when the schools began a massive fundraising drive, it seemed only natural that he would recruit his fictional family to help out the real one. Lesa Tinker and Pamela Tucker, co-chairs for fundraising for P.S. 89, began their term last summer and quickly decided that to attract enough money for the school’s enrichment programs – which include computer science, arts, and gym – they would have to appeal to donors beyond the school’s parents. Then, said Tinker, Tucker had her brainstorm to stage “kind of a mini-version of the Artists and Writers softball game they have every year in The Hamptons.” Word of the idea reached Schirripa, who recruited an enthusiastic Sopranos cast for the event, and brought along the on-air talent of WKTU for the opposing team. Despite fielding a regular softball squad, the radio team lost to the mobsters 14-13. They may have a chance to assuage their egos, however, as Tinker says “Stars and Strikes Downtown” may become an annual event. This year, the game drew over 2,000 people and sold out Murry Bergtraum field on Saturday, May 22. A game shirt, ball, and glove were autographed by the participating celebrities, who included Michael Imperioli, Edie Falco, Steve Buscemi, and Schirripa. The items were auctioned off on WKTU’s website. The proceeds from both the auction and the game benefited P.S./I.S. 89 and The Peter Stuyvesant Little League.

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