ARDSLEY, N.Y. – The concession stand at McDowell Park in Ardsley has become a familiar sight to those who come to games at the field. The bright yellow shack with the gray, shingled roof is a source of nourishment and refreshment to fans who sit on the metal bleachers.
More than that, it has become a place where friends have come to recognize and greet each other.
The Ardsley Little League runs the stand, which sells typical summer refreshments from hot dogs to cold drinks to ice cream. Ardsley Little League treasurer and snack bar coordinator Lucy Gratzon said the stand has been up and running for at least 25 years. Many volunteers, including children, adults and even Ardsley Little League board members, donate their time to work there.
Eighteen-year-old Alexa Ozemba doled out refreshments to fans on Monday evening during the New York District 20 Little League playoffs. The Ardsley High School graduate started working at the stand for the first time in April when the baseball season began and will continue to do so until the season ends.
Before that, though, the stand and the park was already a place where familiar faces gathered.
“During the year, with all the Ardsley teams, and I have family in Ardsley, I see all their friends and it’s pretty cool,” Ozemba said. “Everyone comes and hangs out here during the school year, all the middle school kids.”
Ozemba, who will attend University of Rhode Island, said the summer is a bit different because teams from several other towns use the field, and Gratzon agreed.
“The kids all like to hang out there,” Gratzon said. “You don’t see it as much during the summer, but during the spring, all the kids are hanging out there.”
Ozemba decided to start working at the stand because she could not find a permanent job before she heads to college. She also plays sports, which adds to her schedule. Luckily, Ozemba said Gratzon accommodates her employees.
“She’s kind of understanding about all us kids having flexible hours,” Ozemba said. “It’s like when you can work, you will.”
Ozemba said that all those who worked at the stand this summer are eligible for rehire next summer before Gratzon looks for anyone else.