Palm Beach Gardens naming field for dad with ‘heart of gold’

020908 met buckley Staff photo by Richard Graulich - 0048779A - PALM BEACH GARDENS - Tory Buckley, left, hugs his uncle Hayden Buckley after he was given a painting of his daughter Amanda J. Buckley during a dedication ceremony for the Amanda Buckley Memorial Field of Dream in Palm Beach Gardens Saturday.  Amanda, a member of the Palm Beach Gardens High School softball team, was murdered in July 2007.

Tory Buckley, left, hugs his uncle Hayden Buckley in 2008 after he was given a painting of his daughter Amanda J. Buckley during a dedication ceremony for the Amanda Buckley Memorial Field of Dream in Palm Beach Gardens Saturday. Amanda, a member of the Palm Beach Gardens High School softball team, was murdered in July 2007. (File photo by Richard Graulich)

Tory Buckley’s dedication to youth sports in Palm Beach Gardens has helped define his legacy.

So it’s only fitting that Softball field #2 at the Lake Catherine sports complex will be named for him on opening day 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6. The field is at 9740 MacArthur Blvd. A pair of palm trees – which Buckley loved – will be on either side of the scoreboard at the sports complex. The yearly Softball Player Parade will precede the field dedication.

Buckley, 67, died of cancer at home Jan. 13. His devotion to the community began long before his daughter, a beloved Palm Beach Gardens softball star, was murdered in 2007.

He served as president of the Palm Beach Gardens Youth Athletic Association and chairman of the city’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Board for years. Mayor Eric Jablin has said it was obvious Buckley’s heart was in the right place when he spoke before City Council.

“We all knew that behind that bluster was a heart of gold, and the reason he was so passionate was because he really cared about what he was advocating,” Jablin said.

After Amanda Buckley’s death, he and wife Barbara started the Give a Smile to a Child Foundation in her name. The foundation has helped pay for a Field of Dreams stadium at Plant Drive park behind Palm Beach Gardens High School, volunteered to feed the homeless and supplied holiday gifts to thousands of children and their families, among other contributions.

 

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