By Michael Anderson Staten Island Advance
JD’s Football Sunday just keeps growing and growing every year.
The annual event to remember Joey Doyle attracted over 400 people last year, but organizers say it’s not about the numbers that make the event so special.
“To me, it’s more about getting together and remembering Joey. It’s more about celebrating the day and remembering what he was all about which is bringing together friends, family, football, food and fun,” said Doyle’s friend Brian Paturzo.
So when the 11th annual affair takes place on Oct. 13 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Z-Two Lounge (2925 Veterans Road West in Charleston), expect another packed house.
And as Paturzo points out, it’s not always the same faces.
“It doesn’t change. The same thing happened last year. We had 40 new people who we played Little League baseball with and also had some women from high school show up,” said Paturzo.
“It started off as a Sea, Monsignor Farrell and Tottenville thing in the beginning because that’s where most of Joey’s closest friends are from,” he added. “However, as years have gone by and people have heard about Joey and what he meant to so many people, now it seems like people from every high school and every part of Staten Island come to celebrate.”
The Columbus Day weekend event helps honor Doyle, a former St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School and Wagner College pitcher who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Although the former Annadale resident may be best known on Staten Island for his baseball skills, he was also a huge football fan and planned his football Sundays around his beloved Green Bay Packers.
“The event is a great day for everyone to take time out of their busy schedules and just come and have a good time and remember Joey. That’s the main goal of the event,” said Paturzo.
The event also serves as the big fundraiser for the Joe Doyle Scholarship Fund which benefits students at St. Joseph by-the-Sea HS.
With a following so big, there’s no way one person can handle everything. That’s why the event is a joint effort between Paturzo and other Doyle friends and former teammates Bryan Dunn, Tom Dunn, Pete DiStefano, Jimmy Sorrentino, Gordon Rugg Jr., Eddie Olsen, Mike Sutter, Anthony Sutter, Anthony Bavaro, Nick Lucca, Mike DeGaeta, Kevin Rugg, Frank Fiumefreddo, John Spinelli and Joey’s brother Billy Doyle.
Admission is a $20 donation at the door which includes free food and drink specials.
Paturzo added this year’s big sponsors include Donato Inc., Central Jersey Waste and Recycling, Paula Pucciarelli’s The Balloon Boutique and Personal Paparazzi Photographer and All State Insurance Steve Schneider Agency.
For more information on the event, donations or available raffles, call Paturzo at 917-887-6166, visit www.joeydoyle.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or search “Joey Doyle’s Football Sunday” on Facebook.