PYA to induct Owens, Maguire-White, Wade at Hall of Fame gala

PYA to induct Owens, Maguire-White, Wade at Hall of Fame gala
Billy Owens, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John Wade, and Nora Maguire-White. (Courtesy of Julius Picardi)

Port Washington Youth Activities is pleased to announce the induction of three new members into its Hall of Fame at its annual Gala on the night of Friday, June 15, at the North Hempstead Country Club in Port Washington.

PYA will honor its longtime Field Director Billy Owens, Nora Maguire-White, and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John Wade as former PYA athletes from the organization at its 28th annual fund-raising celebration. These three people, each in their own way, have helped to continue to shape and grow the organization, which was founded in 1963.

Billy Owens has come full circle as a PYA football and lacrosse athlete since his youth. At Schreiber High School in the late 1970s, he excelled on the varsity football and lacrosse teams, wrapping up his senior season as an All-Nassau County midfielder/faceoff specialist. He was a member of the Adelphi University 1981 Division II National Championship team and followed that up with a long playing career with the North Hempstead Lacrosse Club. He is in the Schreiber High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Billy has been a mainstay as the PYA Lions Field Director for more than a decade, and as PYA’s “Goodwill Ambassador”, he is responsible for field management and administration for the facility.

Nora Maguire White played in an early soccer program run by PYA in the late 1970s and in the basketball program. This was followed by four varsity years of each sport at Schreiber, as well as lacrosse, where she earned second-team All-American honors. Moving on to James Madison University, she continued with a year of varsity soccer, and four years of varsity lacrosse as well for the Dukes. At JMU with the lacrosse team, she was a two-time Brine All-American in 1991 and 1992, and honorable mention All-American in 1990. She was a two-time Conference Player of the Year for the South Atlantic Conference in 1991 and the Colonial Athletic Conference in 1992. She was a member of the US U-23 National Lacrosse team in 1991.

Her post-graduate resume included a stint as the JMU assistant lacrosse coach, an assistant soccer, and lacrosse coach at Loyola College, and an assistant soccer coach at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. From a volunteer standpoint, she was the Director of Coaching in the Harrisonburg (VA) AAU Basketball program, the Shenandoah Valley United Soccer Club, and is on the National Academy Staff of the Nations Soccer Coaches of America. And State Academy staff of Virginia Youth Soccer Association. She lived in Florida for a time, where she was head soccer coach at Chiles High School in Tallahassee and launched the boys’ and girls’ lacrosse clubs in that school. She also spent two years as the athletic director at Pope John Paul II High School in that city.

U.S Navy Rear Admiral John Wade played baseball, soccer and basketball at PYA during the late 1970s/early 1980s and followed that up at Schreiber with three years of varsity soccer and two years of varsity lacrosse, for which he earned All-County honors as a senior and was named Male Athlete of the Year. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1990.

Over the course of his career, he completed multiple deployments supporting overseas operations to include Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Wade has served as a Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations; Executive Assistant to the Director of the Navy Quadrennial Defense Review Team; and, Deputy Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In addition, he served with the Army’s 10th Mountain and 82nd Airborne Divisions as Commanding Officer, Joint/Interagency Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan. Most recently, John assumed command of Carrier Strike Group 12 in May.

Athletically, he has been an assistant lacrosse coach at the USNA, and the USNA Prep School. While living in Virginia, he coached youth Tee-Ball, youth soccer, and youth lacrosse. He was also a coach for numerous lacrosse clinics in the San Diego and Washington DC areas.

On the night of the gala, these new inductees will join other Hall of Fame members such as Brian Calenda, Billy Omeltchenko, and Chris Callahan as past PYA honorees. The gala will kick off with a cocktail hour at 7:30 p.m. and dining and dancing from 8:30 p.m. to midnight. There will be a silent and a live auction and raffle prizes.

The price is $175.00 per person (including open bar) in advance and is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. There are several sponsorships available to fit all budgets, plus a souvenir journal will also be published. Please mark your calendars now, and direct any inquiries and reservations to Brandon Kurz, PYA Executive Director at (516) 944-7921. You can also visit the PYA website at for more information about the Celebration and souvenir journal, and to register to attend the event.

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