Billy’s Park opens for skaters, scooters, bladers and bikers in Blue Point


It finally happened.

Billy Schettino’s dream of transforming the unused Roe Park, which many Blue Point residents referred to as “the wasteland,” into a skate park for him, his friends and his community has finally become a reality.

The family of the young man who died in 2012 joined Brookhaven Town Councilmember Neil Foley and New York State Senator Dean Murray Saturday morning to celebrate the grand opening of what will be known as Billy’s Park, located at Park Street and Bowne Avenue.

“Dreams do come true,” Foley said before a crowd of nearly 100 of the Schettino’s friends and neighbors Saturday morning. “I never thought this would happen. It wasn’t easy, a lot of tears, a lot of pushing. It was a long journey for everybody here, and for Billy and for Billy’s friends and his family.”

The $2 million park boasts basketball courts, a pavilion with picnic tables and playground equipment as well as ramps and rails for skaters, bikers, rollerbladers and scooters. Foley said the town, which took over the property from Suffolk County last year, will soon install a plaque to ensure all visitors will know of the young man who advocated for the community space. 

“This little man had a heart and soul that I honestly believe has touched everyone of you that have been involved in this from day one,” Joann Schettino, Billy’s mother, said. On Saturday morning, she wore custom sneakers boasting graffiti art she said her son enjoyed making, even doing so with her on occasion. She added that her son is now “skating golden ramps.”

William Schettino, whom his family and friends called “Billy” died at age 18 after he was struck by a Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office cruiser while standing beside his disabled car on the Long Island Expressway. Since then, his family has carried on his dream for transforming “the wasteland” into a community center.

“I am so thankful that this has finally happened,” said Billy’s younger sister, Marissa Schettino. “Since I was a child, I’ve been waiting for this to happen, and it’s so beautiful. I can’t wait to come here all the time and see everybody enjoying themselves.”

On Saturday morning, residents were already putting the park to good use, walking their dogs, swinging on the playground and of course, skating.

“We need to thank the community over here for welcoming this park into our community,” Luigi Schettino, Billy’s father, said. “I really hope people take advantage of this beautiful park that the [Blue Point Community Civic Association], Neil [Foley] and everybody put together for young kids that are all over this neighborhood now … Thank you for everybody involved in getting this thing done, from the floor to the top, the workers, the people laying the sod. This is an amazing park, and this is a dream that finally came true for all of us.”

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