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November 1, 2001

Staten Island Sadness

By Sanford Wexler

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As a youngster, Ponzio was an avid hockey player and he often dreamed of owning a sports center. This childhood dream became a reality several years ago when he teamed up with a group of investors to purchase the Staten Island Hockey Sports Facility. The venture's partners include Jerry Finkelstein, chairman of the board of News Communications, a consortium of New York community newspapers; Steve Markowitz, a partner at the New York brokerage firm of Joseph Stevens & Co., and Mike Mancusi, a professional amusement facility expert.

The sports center, sitting on eight acres of New York City parkland, is home to a regulation size hockey rink, some 20 baseball batting cages, and an 18-hole miniature golf course.

"The ultimate thing that you want to own when you are a kid is a hockey rink if you play hockey or a batting cage if you play baseball," Ponzio said. "Now, my partners and I have both." They also have directed their good fortune to many on Staten Island who lost their loved ones on Sept. 11.

* Donations to the Staten Island September 11th Fund, Inc. c/o The Staten Island Advance, 950 Fingerboard Road, Staten Island, NY 10305

Tel: 718-981-1234. (Checks payable: The Staten Island September 11th Fund, Inc.)