Mattituck Cutchogue School District

He did it: Cutchogue kid raises enough cash for wallball

BETHBETH YOUNG PHOTO | Billy Hickox of Cutchogue gets a standing ovation for announcing he's raised the money to build a wallball court at Cutchogue East School.g.

Cutchogue East Elementary School will get a wallball court next school year because fourth-grader Billy Hickox raised more than enough money — about $7,240 — to build it.

Billy approached the school earlier this year, asking permission to raise funds for the project.

He’s been meeting with designers, builders, construction material providers and fence companies ever since to put together a complete plan for the court.

Billy told the Mattituck-Cutchogue school board last Thursday night that he’s raised more than the $5,420 needed for the project.

“Since we have some extra money, we are going to buy a tiki bar from BJs for the wallball court, complete with blenders so the lunch monitors can make smoothies for the players waiting to play,” he told the board wryly, waiting until he heard a little bit of nervous laughter before adding, “Just kidding.”

“Seriously, I’m sure over the summer we will think of an appropriate use of the extra money,” he said.

Billy has drawn up a set of rules for the game, which is usually played with a pink rubber Spalding ball but at Cutchogue East will be played instead with tennis balls, which aren’t as hard.

He’s also convinced the owners of Seifert Construction to donate their time to be the construction supervisors.

“Each donation is appreciated, from the kid who donated 11 cents at the 5K run to the student at the junior-senior high school who donated their spare change, to the Finnegan family for their very generous donation in the memory of Patty Finnegan,” Billy said. “So the plans are in, the contractors are ready, the money is all in, and I’m very tired.”

The board resoundingly and unanimously accepted his donation, after which Billy received a standing ovation from the crowd.

“My hat’s off to you,” said school board president Jerry Diffley.

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