BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Peppertown Park Renewal Committee threw the second annual Bocce Tournament & Festival on Saturday. By any measure it was a hit.

Committee member Midge Vicendese said the hope was residents would come not just to play Bocce, but to watch it, have something to eat and to enjoy a day in the park with their family, friends and, yes, even dogs. Judging by the number of children who ran around and through the park, played games and, eventually, rounded up the balloons and let some go and popped others, that plan worked. 

There were dog walkers, spectators, people who stopped to see what was going on and, of course, the Bocce players. A record 14 teams entered the tournament -- 28 people -- way more than last year. The tournament started at 11 a.m. and people were still battling it out to see who would win at 2 p.m. Italian music provided some of the soundtrack for the tournament with songs by Ol Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, on the playlist.

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There was also a lot of food consumed, which committee members sold. Local businesses donated the food plus water, ice cream and cannoli -- all proceeds went to support the renewal of the park. Sponsors of the tournament included: Berkeley Heights YMCA, Berkeley Hardware and Paint, Caruso Dellomo Construction, Cascade Tree Service, Clemente's Pizzeria, Derco Print, Dimaios, Dorsi's Pharmacy, Halls Garden Center and Florist, Marcello's Ristorante, Nasto's Ice Cream Co., Reside Unlimited, and Smith Chropractic Center. 

Dr. Patrick Smith presented a check for $500 to the committee. "We're just getting started with the project," said Donavan Hall, who created the design for the renewed park.

Along the walkway, renderings of the various projects approved for the town allowed residents to see what's coming and where. 

The Bocce Tournament was the first and third fund-raiser for the renewal committee. Art in the Park earlier in the year was the second one. 

To find out more about the Peppertown Park Renewal Committee, visit its website. Donations are always welcome.  Members of the committee include Tom Barton, Julie Lloyd, Bruce Mustacchi, Gay Hollowell, Midge Vincendese, Ron Loria, Pat Smith, Angela Corrado, Donovan Hall, Michelle Bartiroma, Manny Couto, Eileen Bonacci, and Lucinda Hays.