What makes a good citizen? Just ask David Evans, who was recently honored by St. Mary’s Church in Carle Place with its Raymond Parish/John Wasiewski Good Citizenship Award in recognition of his extraordinary service for the community.
Evans, the founder of the Carle Place Soccer Club, has made a positive difference in the lives of dozens of parents, grandparents and children by providing them with the bonding experience of athletic team participation.
The church selection committee was impressed by Evans’ lifetime of achievement, turning a good deed for a neighbor into a commitment to a sport that at first, he knew nothing about.
It all began 1978 when a family on Evans’ block with three sons asked him to write a letter to the Carle Place School to see if they could start a soccer club and obtain a field permit similar to little league baseball. Evans had no idea at the time how this simple accommodation for a neighbor’s wishes would lead to a raft of meetings, wheelings and dealings with the Carle Place school and little leaguers as well as a host of good families, but remarkably, he found himself responsible for creating a team for a sport (in his own words) he “knew nothing about.”
It took a year, but in 1979 the Carle Place Soccer League was formed. Evans, giving credit where it was due, went on to say, “It all came about thanks to the many volunteer parents and an energetic board consisting of the Greenspan, Moramarco, Reynolds, Mayorga and Pascarella families, including the coaches and Long Island Junior Soccer League.”
The first sign ups were 100 boys and girls, and then the team became a viable school sport where boys and girls went on to win several division and county titles, Long Island championships and one boys team won a New York State Championship. Several of these student athletes won scholarships to attend college and play soccer.
Evans was president of Carle Place Soccer Club for 10 years before he was succeeded by John Phalen. Evans is particularly proud of his own son, one of the original 100 who played through high school, college and is on the under 30 men’s team and now coaches his son and daughters in Huntington.
Originally from Mineola, Evans joined the US Navy 1958, and was discharged in 1962. He served aboard the USS Rich DD820 for three years and six months. After he was married in 1965, he moved to Carle Place. He is the father of three girls and one boy, and grandfather to 11 children all living on Long Island, with one family living in Carle Place.
With financial assistance from the GI Bill he earned an associates, bachelors and masters degree. His first job was with Nassau County as a laborer, where he worked for 35 years advancing to the position of director of building services. One of his achievements was transforming Mitchel Field into Nassau Community College.
“Dave Evans is just the kind of family-centric successful organizer we are looking for to receive the award,” said Don Schaefer, St. Mary’s senior warden. “Over the years many lives have been touched and enriched by his generosity of spirit and quiet self-effacing enthusiasm. He has certainly earned this year’s Good Citizenship Award. We hope this recognition will inspire others to have similar ‘ripple effect’ success stories to bring to public attention in the future.”
The annual Raymond Parish/John Wasiewski Good Citizenship Award is named after two of the church’s most respected and prominent parishioners (both deceased) to recognize their many years of devotion to their community and involvement in its institutions. Evans will be given a plaque to hang on a wall of his home and another permanent display plaque with his name on it will be placed on a wall in the church, serving as a lasting reminder of his service. Others in the community who have been so honored are: John Heslin, Alphonso Piscatelli, Peggy Wilde, Lawrence Zaino and Donald Schaefer.