BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Although the rain was coming down at a steady clip, the boys and girls, as well as their coaches, lined up on Locust Avenue to get the show on the road Saturday. These eager sluggers were not going to let the rain dampen the fun of the annual PAL Baseball and Softball Parade.
Players and their coaches lined up by team on Locust Avenue and were led by police escort and Berkeley Heights Fire Engine 4 down Snyder Avenue which was lined with parents and siblings holding their umbrellas to shield themselves from the drenching rain.
The celebration continued with a presentation of colors by the Berkeley Heights Police Department Honor Guard, the singing of the national anthem was sung by Natalie and Katie along with the "Heights Heat Softball Choir," and Thomas Fettes threw out the first pitch to Patrolman Daniel Schaffer.
The Berkeley Heights Police Athletic League Baseball Commissioner Ryan Samuelson addressed the crowd:
"Good afternoon. I’d like to welcome all of you to the 2017 Berkeley Heights Police Athletic League Baseball and Softball Parade.
"My name is Ryan Samuelson and on behalf of the entire board of directors of the Berkeley Heights PAL, we are happy to have you here.
"We’re going to begin today’s program by asking everyone to please remove your caps as the Berkeley Heights Police Department Honor Guard presents our nations colors.
"The Berkeley Heights Police Athletic League strives to build character among our children; give them productive outlets for their energies; and encourage Integrity, self-confidence, and sportsmanship.
"We’re committed to providing each player with the opportunity to develop their baseball or softball skills in a safe atmosphere, that encourages mental, social, and emotional maturity.
"I would also like to acknowledge and thank my fellow board members (both past and present), our coaches, and you the parents for the countless hours you all dedicate to making this program so special. Volunteerism is what makes this go, ...and the sense of community in this town is truly second to none."
Let the games begin -- PLAY BALL!
Hotdogs were generously donated by Delicious Heights and Italian Ice was donated by Zita's Homemade Ice Cream.