WOODLAND PARK, NJ - The third annual Families Behind the Badge softball tournament will be held this year on Saturday, May 20 at the Memorial Field complex behind Beatrice Gilmore and Memorial Schools off McBride Avenue, starting at 8:30 a.m. Rain date is May 21.
Organized by Councilwoman Tracy Kallert, Councilman Vincent DeCesare and Kaitlyn Kallert, the event, which pits teams of North Jersey police officers against each other, aims to honor officers from New Jersey that have given their life in the line of duty and their families, and raise funds to assist those surviving families via the State PBA Survivors Fund. Teams participating include Woodland Park, Montclair, Verona, Bloomfield, Belleville, Jersey City, Fair Lawn, Passaic, Paterson, Passaic County Corrections Department officers, Passaic County Sheriff’s Department officers and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Department.
This year the event will honor Officer Tyron Franklin of Paterson. Franklin was shot and killed during a robbery attempt at a fast food restaurant in 2007. Only 23 years old, he had been serving with the Paterson Police Department for only 8 months at the time of his death and was survived by a 16-month-old son.
Last year, $10,800 was raised which benefited the family of Fair Lawn Police Officer Mary Ann Collura. She was killed during a chase, run-over by a car. The inaugural event in 2015, which raised nearly $9,000 honored Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Santiago, who was killed while responding to a robbery.
All are welcome to attend and cheer on the teams. There will be food, a beer garden, bouncy house for the kids and more. The 50/50 is already over $3,000 for the potential winner.
To make a donation or to volunteer to help at the event, call Councilman DeCesare at 201-401-2618. For more information visit www.facebook.com/Families-Behind-The-Badge.