ROXBURY, NJ - Raising money for children with illnesses, 45 teams of all ages faced off at Horseshoe Lake Park on Saturday at the Roxbury PBA’s wiffleball tournament. It was the thirteenth installment of the popular event.
The tournament this year is raising money for fourth grader Matthew Adonis, who is fighting a brain tumor, and five-year-old Samantha Russell, who is combating Chron’s Disease.
The tournament has raised over $154,000, in its 13-year run, for kids and families in need.
Tournament co-organizer Roxbury Police Officer Brian Feeney said that the teams change, but not much else. “[The Tournament]’s a great thing we do as the police department.” he said. The department or PBA makes no money from the event, according to Feeney.
Every field is sponsored, except for one, which is dedicated to Penny Simone. She died in 2006, leading to the creation of a program called COPS CARE and the first wiffleball tournament.
Some teams, Feeney said, have played in every tournament since the start.
Stacey Dimmick and her family have come for around 10 years and the tournament helped raise money for her daughter Payton six years ago. She said funds raised from the tournament “helped a lot” when paying for hospital visits and other medical expenses.
“People coming out as a community while your child is sick is a great thing,” Dimmick added.
Families helped by the tournament this year said they are thankful for what the event has done for them and their children.
Samantha Russel’s mother, Jennifer, said, “There’s not much we can say about [the tournament]. It’s amazing…there’s so much everyone’s done for us.”
Feeney hoped there wouldn't be a need for a tournament next year, but he’d be willing to put it on again.