BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Berkeley Heights Education Foundation (BHEF) hosted their jam-packed, 17th annual faculty basketball game on Tuesday at Gov. Livingston High School. The community came together to enjoy an evening of electrified school spirit for the All-Star teachers, faculty and student performers.
"The BHEF Faculty Basketball Game is a true example of a community event that I am extremely proud to have been a part of. This event would not be a success without all of our trustees, volunteers and players," said Carla McGlynn, BHEF Trustee and event chairperson.
The event was sponsored by Gabriele Fitness & Performance (GFP) and proceeds benefit the grants, programs and gifts supported by the BHEF.
"The BHEF hosted an outstanding event last night that we were honored to be a part of. The Berkeley Heights community has been very supportive of GFP and we appreciated the opportunity to help a very great foundation," said Vince Gabriele.
The evening included performances from select schools throughout the game. Opening with the flag ceremony and singing of the National Anthem -- performers from each elementary school entertained the crowd during time-outs and breaks between quarters.
The atmosphere of the event was portrayed through enthusiastic children and their families rooting for specific schools and teachers on each team.
The Blue Team had a strong start, ending the first quarter with a double-digit lead over the Red Team, 20-9.
The William Woodruff performers entertained the crowd after the first quarter, performing the song "Timber."
The Red Team worked to bounce back in the second quarter, but the Blue Team still prevailed with foul shots from Vince Gulbin and a run of three additional Blue baskets. Phil Acosta sunk a three for Blue to lead, 33-16, at the half.
Referee Vinny Polimeni, junior at Gov. Livingston, commented on the effort by the teachers. "Teachers gave a great effort out there--it was a great night. The sold-out crowd was tough to ref with but I persevered and did my best with the aggressive teachers," said Polimeni, jokingly. "The kids had a great time and they loved watching the game."
At halftime, the intensity of the crowd escalated. The Hughes performance group danced to the "Cha-Cha Slide" and incorporated teachers into their ensemble. The Gov. Livingston Highlander mascot emerged into the crowd and all of the kids were called down to the court to participate in the "Cotton Eyed Joe."
Countless teachers from both teams contributed in the third quarter, which ended with a performance from Mountain Park singers with "What Does the Fox Say."
The fourth quarter included outstanding play from Vince Gabriele and Dan Guyton from the Red Team. The game ended with a Blue Team victory, 55-43.
"Coach Tom, Joe and I had a blast playing in the game and meeting some of the great men and women who help educate and support the Berkeley Heights community. In addition, seeing the students from the elementary schools perform was awesome. Pam Yoss and all the people that ran the event did an amazing job," said Gabriele.
Mary Kay McMillin ECC - Chuck Billingslea, Catherine Bruner, Kevin McGrath, Katherine Wallace, Rachel Hopkins, Mary Dendinge, Jennie Byram, Mike Hanly, Frank Fabiano, Janet Magliacano
Woodruff School - Patty Gasparini, Joe Reel, Lauren Ryan, Stephanie Parrott
Columbia Middle School - Michael Roof, Vince Gulbin, Chris Whyte
Governor Livingston High School - Phil Acosta, Tim O'Sullivan, Joseph Elefante, Todd Hirsch
Hughes School - Justin Derman, Cristina Cerulo, Adam Goldstein, Lindsey Guyton, Jessica Nardi, Erika Naftalis, Joseph Sinko, Novy Gonzalez, Matthew Madura
Mountain Park School - Jon Morisseau, Marie Pellegrini, Tyler Brown
Columbia Middle School - Rick Romano, Johan Marin, Christina Froehlich
Governor Livingston High School - Daniel Guyton, Karina Rodriguez, Beryl Roman, Jackie Hudacko
Gabriele Fitness - Vince Gabriele, Tom Langton, Joe Hartigan
The BHEF is a nonprofit organization that raises funds to enhance educational excellence in the Berkeley Heights Public Schools. The BHEF sponsors programs and organizes events that support innovative instruction, strengthen school–community ties, enrich students’ appreciation of the arts and humanities, and augment technology resources throughout the district. For additional information and a full list of grants, please visit the BHEF website.