BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Fields throughout Somerset County were the sites of a number of baseball games July 12 as part of the Jack Gardner Memorial Softball Tournament.
The tournament began 22 years ago when a local child became ill and the family needed help with medical bills.
"Every year after that, the tradition continued and the list of children in our family grew," said Lisa Yates, who worked on the tournament. "Jack Gardner was one of the original men to start this, and when he past, the tournament was named after him."
The organization is supported by the Somerville Elks Lodge 1068, on Union Avenue in Bridgewater, and is dedicated to helping children and their families with the expenses and issues related to childhood illnesses and disabilities.
"We love volunteering our time for these families and our motto is 'It's All About the Kids,'" Yates said.
Yates said there are 10 brackets in the tournament and 53 teams competed on fields in Somerville, Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Bedminster, Bernards and Manville. A total of eight brackets were men's and two were women's.
"Some of the teams play just to support us and others have family members that are Jack's Kids," Yates said. "Their stories are inspiring."
Trophies were handed out for bracket winners. The winners this year were:
- Tyler Trophy - 1st place, Ellery's; 2nd place, Major Car Wash
- Shiffer Trophy - 1st place, FD Fasteners/Avelino's; 2nd place, That's a Buy
- Greig Trophy - 1st place, Leslie's Warriors; 2nd place, Might Mo's
- Spangler Trophy - 1st place, Roethke Landscaping; 2nd place, Ville Boys
- Mackie Maxwell Trophy - 1st place, Spartan 13; 2nd place, Waz Crackers
- Sloan Trophy - 1st place, Drewby's; 2nd place, Crew Softball
- Pellicane Trophy - 1st place, Hitmen; 2nd place, The Bombers
- Collins Trophy - 1st place, Somerville Central Hook & Ladder; 2nd place, Station 77
- Spike Henderson Trophy - 1st place, Fighting 55th; 2nd place, Neshanic Fire Department
- Wielgus Trophy - 1st place, Somerset County Corrections; 2nd place, Bernards/Bernardsville PBA
- Daniel Nols Trophy - 1st place, Bridgewater PBA; 2nd place, Roselle Park PBA
- Baby Mo Trophy - 1st place, Dunellen Hotel; 2nd place, 1-800-Got Junk
- Kroeper Trophy - 1st place, Team Alexander; 2nd place, American Legion 12
For more information about the program, visit www.jackskids.org.