BY MICHAEL RIZZO
For Robert Reid, president of the Bayside Little League baseball organization, community service to young people seems to be part of his DNA. It was also why he was one of four persons selected as a Chairman’s Honoree at the Josephine Foundation Follow Your Dreams dinner on June 21 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, New York.
“I was humbled and completely surprised,” said Reid, who goes by Bob, about receiving the honor.
Reid was cited for his many years of leading the hundreds of youngsters in the Little League.
However, Foundation Chairman Andrew Koslosky said in choosing to honor Reid, he noted something else when the former NYPD Detective provided the Westbury based charity with VIRTUS training.
“I knew Bob through his son Jonathan, who is on our Board of Directors,” Koslosky said. “But when I saw Bob’s passion for VIRTUS, it takes a special kind of person for that. What he’s doing to help and safeguard kids, you have to have it your heart and he does.”
VIRTUS is used by organizations that interact with the Catholic Church to help prevent wrongdoing against children and Reid is a certified trainer.
Reid is also a member of the Northeast Bayside Civic Association Board and active in Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church as the chair of the Marketing Committee for the parish’s academy. He previously ran the youth program at St. Bartholomew’s parish in Elmhurst.
The Josephine Foundation provides grants to groups that work in arts and sports activities producing plays and other events involving children and young adults. The organization said it has given away more than $4 million in grants since its awards dinner began 17 years ago.
“A community is only as strong as the people involved in it. I wouldn’t know what to do if I wasn’t doing this,” Reid said about his volunteer work. He and his family have lived in Bayside since 1978. The 69-year-old retired in 2008 after 34 years in the NYPD. He’s been president of the Little League since 1991.
His participation with the baseball group is not just helping children play and learn the game. He mentioned how he organized Little Leaguers to clean up Crocheron Park and the League holds events that benefit other local organizations like St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bay Terrace. He also submitted grant applications to the Josephine Foundation this year and obtained $500 for programs at Blessed Sacrament and $1,000 for the Little League.
“Baseball is America’s pastime,” Reid said. “We try to keep it alive by having kids play it and I hope it keeps kids alive and healthy by being active in it.”
Reid’s longtime friend and fellow Bayside resident Jim Stanton was among the more than 300 attendees at the dinner. The former school principal in Rosedale said Reid’s recognition was no surprise to him.
“He’s always been involved in so many things for the community,” he said. “From doing things at schools or when he was with the police and he was Santa at Christmas.”
Besides the award from the Foundation, Reid also received certificates of recognition from the New York City Council and Congresswoman Grace Ming. In introducing all the honorees, Koslosky said they exemplify not only the spirit of the Foundation but they serve “God and his people” by their service.
For Reid, that was an invitation.
“I feel like I should go out and do more,” he said.