Celebrating kids’ ‘talents, bravery’ on Johnny Mac Day

Local charity has biggest-ever turnout


Blue Point-based charity, The Johnny Mac Foundation, held its third annual Johnny Mac Day at the Bayport-Blue Point Library on the corner of Blue Point Avenue and Middle Road on Sunday, June 3.

The one-day festival featured activities and entertainment for the entire family.

Founder of Johnny Mac and president, Jennifer McNamara, said, “Johnny Mac Day was conceived by board member Janet Borowski, three years ago. Given that she did not know John, it is absolute genius because it would have been his favorite day of the year. There was nothing more that John loved than giving back to his community, whether it was his local community or his 9/11 community. That the foundation can put an event of this magnitude together and make it free of charge for all to come and enjoy is incredible. It makes my heart happy, and I know it would make John’s heart happy as well.”

“Juggling and scheduling all of the different aspects of the event can be a challenge. We have the booth vendors to book, family activities to arrange and set up, stage reservation with the Town of Brookhaven, and booking with the Suffolk County first responder organizations to attend. And this all has to be coordinated closely with our partners at the BBP Library. Luckily, we have great vendors and contacts at the town and county, and a special connection with Jack Licitra at South Bay Arts, which help. Plus, Mike Firestone [BBP Library director] and his team are an absolute pleasure to work with! Building those relationships is key,” said Janet Borowski, a Johnny Mac board member who helped coordinate the day.

As the Johnny Mac Foundation is in honor of an FDNY service member, first responders are integral to the Johnny Mac Day activities.

“We obviously work a lot with first responders who are so crucial to kids and families in the community during emergency situations. An event like Johnny Mac Day addresses a different kind of need for these kids. It gives them a literal stage to express themselves musically. It brings these kids, their families, friends, and community members together to celebrate their progress, talents, and bravery. And it’s extra special to have the first responder community (Suffolk County sheriff, emergency services, fire rescue, and Community Ambulance to name a few) out there enjoying their talents and cheering them along,” said Borowski.

“Once again, the Johnny Mac Foundation provided our community with a wonderful, fun and safe family day, especially for our youth.   These are the perfect activities our library are proud to host.  Community spirit is alive and well in Bayport-Blue Point,” said Ronnie Devine Jr., president Bayport-Blue Point Library Board of Trustees.

The Johnny Mac Foundation, for its expansive charity work in BBP and throughout Long Island and New York City, is really the culmination of an extraordinary couple’s love story that has transcended the bounds of time, loss, and earthly separation.

Widowed in 2009, McNamara painfully closed a beloved chapter in her life when her husband died of cancer from his valiant 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts.

Unbeknownst to McNamara, her husband would leave her and son Jack an immortal wish, whose fulfillment would carry his spirit long after his death.

Hidden in a bag was a letter from husband to wife, meant to be read after his death, outlining a plan for a community center in their hometown of Blue Point (where McNamara and her son still reside).

Borne out of this request was the formation of the Johnny Mac Foundation, an association dedicated to continuing John’s altruistic soul and the mantra of “Whatever it takes.” 


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