LIVINGSTON, NJ – For a Bar Mitzvah project, thirteen-year-old Bryce Gelman of Livingston, with the help of his parents, held a 3 on 3 charity basketball tournament at Heritage Middle School, on Saturday afternoon.
Bryce put together the event to help raise money for the R Baby Foundation, a charity that for the last seven years has worked to improve pediatric emergency care for children across the nation.
Bryce said he took on the project in hopes of simply helping the foundation's cause. “This event is close to my family’s heart, and I just wanted to help out and raise as much money as possible [for the R Baby Foundation],” he said.
The R Baby Foundation was created in 2006 by Gelman family friends, Andrew and Phyllis Rabinowitz of Short Hills, after they lost their daughter Rebecca Ava of nine days, due to an undetected and misdiagnosed viral infection. Since the program’s inception, the foundation has raised roughly $7M dollars for pediatric emergency care.
Over 140 people attended Bryce’s charity basketball tournament and an estimated additional $5,000 dollars was raised for the foundation.
“We’re so proud of Bryce for taking the initiative to make this event happen,” said Phyllis Rabinowitz, who was present at the event Saturday and whose son and husband both played in the tournament.
All funds raised from the event will support efforts to improve pediatric emergency care at the closest children's hospital to Bryce’s community, Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Morristown Center, where Bryce was born.
“With these events, we give all proceeds to local hospitals to make sure the children there are getting the proper health care and help they need,” said Rabinowitz.
The tournament is part of R Baby's Kids Help R Baby program where kids help support children’s healthcare, while doing activities that interest them. Bryce did not play in the games as he was helping to oversee the event, and said he chose basketball because it was his favorite sport.
“Everything’s going really good,” said Bryce during a short 30-second intermission between rounds. “I think everyone’s having fun.”
Rabinowitz added a similar sentiment, “These events are great because people get to do something they enjoy for a charitable cause.”
Many local businesses sponsored and donated gift cards, gifts and food to the fundraiser. Tournament Sponsors included, And One Basketball; Justin Gimelstob Children's Fund; The Goldberg Family; Gregory A. Boff Charitable and Foundation; and Met Life Solutions Group. Bracket Sponsors included, Calabria Restaurant; Commercial Trailor Leasing; and Jag Physical Therapy. Team Sponsors included, Epps Essen; Uncle Myron and Partners; 580 South; Bob Beck Sports Collectables; Flywheel; JD Fitness; and Samurai Sushi.
For more information about the R Baby Foundation visit their website.