Giving Back

Ret. Franklin Officer and Resident Darrin Russo Supports Police Unity Tour at Oh’ Brian’s in Clark

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Denise and Darrin Russo, Billy Kleeman, Tammy Apolonia and Donald Erickson of Oh' Brian's on the Green celebrated St. Patrick's Day during a pig roast in support of the Police Unity Tour. Credits: Susan R. Bonnell
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CLARK, NJ - Revelers enjoyed a free pig roast at Oh’ Brian’s in the Green Saturday afternoon, while raising funds in support of the annual Police Unity Tour. The tour, which increases awareness of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., is a multi-day bicycling event that draws law enforcement riders from across the country.

“Four will ride from Westfield,” Westfield police officer and event organizer Billy Kleeman said. “We ride to raise funds for the memorial, but also to increase awareness about our jobs and dangers of it.

The memorial contains the names of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, Kleeman explained.  Bicyclists from Police Unity Tour Chapter 1, of which Kleeman is a member, will leave from Florham Park, NJ on May 9.

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Another large contingent will depart from Franklin Township one day later, Darrin Russo, a retired Franklin Township officer said.  The two groups, as well as cyclists from a group in Virginia, will converge at the Robert F. Kennedy Stadium for a final two-by-two ride to the memorial.  In all, Russo said approximately 2,500 riders will make the trip.

“We always support the ride,” Oh’Brian’s on the Green co-owner Donald Erickson said with pride.  “We support our local P.B.A. and the state P.B.A.”

The afternoon’s raffle included a big screen television, a bicycle and gift baskets of gift cards, cosmetics and more.  T-shirts and logo cups were for sale.  Tammy Apolonia, Kleeman’s fiancée, is not a rider, but said she was happy to help organize the event in support of the cyclists.  A live band would take the stage at 2 p.m., and the event runs until 6 p.m. Apolonia said.  The pig roast was free, but donations were gratefully accepted.

For more information about the ride or to make a donation, visit the Police Unity Tour Chapter 1 website

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