FAIRFIELD, NJ — A “Bar Night for Brendan” held at Thatcher McGhee’s Irish Pub in Fairfield on Wednesday raised $2,000 toward the third annual Brendan Tevlin Lacrosse Festival being held on July 30 in West Orange in honor of the Livingston resident who lost his life to a shooting in 2014.
On Monday and Tuesday, the restaurant hosted all-day “Dine and Donate” events, where guests displayed flyers to their servers in order to have 20 percent of their check donated toward the festival, which is held in support of the Brendan Patrick Tevlin ’13 Memorial Fund.
On Wednesday, July 20, the bar hosted a special "Bar Night for Brendan," with entertainment by Matt Suyat, an American Idol Top 24 finalist, and Kyle Hill of “The Band Suyat.” Tevlin's 17-year-old cousin, Bernadette Callaghan of Livingston, also sang an original song to honor him.
Event organizers Rich Shahpazian, Dave King and Michael Condon introduced surprise guest bartenders, including Connor Wujciak, a Seton Hall Prep (SHP) graduate of 2011 who now plays for the Philadelphia Eagles; Larry Baggitt, Athletic Director at SHP; Ciara McGovern, a Roseland resident who is 25th in the world and 10th in the nation for Irish dancing; Julie Wester, a history teacher at SHP; and Brendan Tevlin Lacrosse Festival co-founders King and Shahpazian.
“The whole reason we do all these events is not to raise money, that’s not our main goal,” said Shahpazian. “Our main goal is to honor our friend, Brendan Tevlin, and the person that he was.”
King, Shahpazian and Condon stood before friends, family, classmates and local supporters and thanked them for coming. They also thanked Thatcher McGhee’s for hosting the event and everyone who has donated to the cause so far.
The co-founders thanked everyone for not only proving that this year’s Lacrosse Festival would be the best one yet but also, more importantly, for helping them celebrate their friend’s life.
During the lacrosse festival on July 30, there will be a tricky tray and silent auction. Bigger ticket items have not been announced, but last year’s prizes included a Bud Light fridge; Yankees, Mets, Giants, and Jets Tickets; a Cornell Lacrosse Jersey; and Florida State Football Jersey.
“We are very thankful for many Livingston businesses that have been generous enough to send donations and gift cards,” said Condon. “Special thanks Pizzetta, Anthony Franco's, Livingston Bagel, and Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza. Other places such as Ricalton’s Village Tavern of South Orange and Sorrento’s Bakery of East Hanover have donated gift cards as well.”
Many supporters have already donated jewelry, gift baskets, gift cards, coolers, and bicycles for the tricky tray event. People can also donate to the “Brendan Patrick Tevlin ’13 Memorial Fund ATTN: Lacrosse Festival at Seton Hall Prep.”