BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater teen Jonathan Locker has been raising money for the 2017 New York Football Giants Snow Bowl, and his coed team of adults, the Green Giants, will play flag football at Met Life Stadium March 5.
The event raises money for Special Olympics New Jersey, a non-profit organization that helps more than 23,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities train and compete free of charge year round in Olympic-type events.
Locker is preparing for his Bar Mitzvah in April at Temple Beth-El in Hillsborough. As a part of the planning, students are encouraged to perform a “Mitzvah Project,” or acts of kindness through personally meaningful ways, to help make the world a better place.
Locker plays lacrosse in Bridgewater and loves sports, so helping people with disabilities receive sports training and assistance was a natural fit.
Locker and his family have been involved in Special Olympics for several years and learned about this event through Michelle Waiser and her daughter Jadyn. Locker's older brother, Brett, helped Waiser's team raise money in 2013 when the team pulled a Boeing 737 for another SONJ event.
Jaclyn Waiser, 13, has been an active participant in the Special Olympics since she was 3 years old, and has won several gold medals for gymnastics. Her instrumental coach, Susanne Yip, is grateful for the volunteers and fundraising events.
Money raised goes to facility rental, uniforms, equipment and other necessities. Coaching is all voluntary and Yip works with a young woman named Sammy, who, at the age of 12 three years ago, helped start the local gymnastics program where Waiser trains.
Over 50 teams competed last year in the Snow Bowl, many made up of local law enforcement and fire fighters. For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/jonnymitzvahproject.
Donations can be made by sending a check, payable to “Special Olympics New Jersey”, Attn: Snow Bowl-Green Giants, 3 Princess Road, Lawrenceville, NJ, 08648. The deadline for all donations is March 1.