January 7, 2014 at 12:41 AM
WEST ORANGE, NJ – While the NFL community prepares for the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2, days before the “Big Game” will be a more important game.
In conjunction with the Wounded Warriors Project, the 9/11 First Responders and members of the NFL Alumni Association, Essex County will host the 2014 “Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Challenge.”
The annual event will take placed at Richard Codey Arena at Essex County’s South Mountain Recreation Complex on Jan. 29.
This family-friendly fundraiser will feature a flag football game where the Wounded Warriors will go up against former NFL stars, as well as 9/11 First Responders.
“This is going to be a great day in Essex County,” Essex County Executive Joe DiVencenzo Jr. said. “It's five days before the Super Bowl. This is the Essex County Super Bowl. We want to make sure that we have a huge crowd here.”
The Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team is a group of U.S. military service members who lost limbs while serving their country. Led by New Jersey-native Bobby Donnelly, the Warriors will be going up against former NFL stars Jim Burt (New York Giants), Joe Klecko (New York Jets), Vince Papale (Philadelphia Eagles and subject of the Disney film "Invincible"), and many others.
“As a New Jersey-native and a veteran who is going to be paying in this game, I challenge all of my fellow Jerseyans to come out and show your support,” Donnelly said. “As a Jets fan, Rex Ryan, I know you're not busy, you better get out here; and Mr. Christie, too."
Tickets for the game are currently on sale. They can be purchased at the Codey Arena Box Office or by visiting the Wounded Warrior Football Team’s website (www. wwaft.org). Children under 12 are free, students ages 13-17 are $10, with adult tickets costing $20. Autograph sessions and halftime entertainment by The Village People is included with admission.
“We are always happy to welcome individuals in who have good ideas to help us make sure Essex County is on the map,” Essex County Board of Freeholders President Blonnie Watson said. “With this program, we will definitely be pitting Essex County on the map. Its special to have a program such as the American Heroes Wounded Warriors, we are truly honored.”