SPRINGFIELD, NJ - NJ Sharing Network’s 15th Annual Golf & Tennis Classic, at the prestigious Baltusrol Golf Club, brought out more than 175 people Monday to support the organization’s life-saving mission.  NJ Sharing Network is based in New Providence, NJ.

“The sun came out after some early dark clouds and showers — almost a metaphor for our work to bring light to the darkness,” said Peter Rooney, Chair of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation.

“We enjoyed our time on the golf course and tennis court, but we were all here today to help save more lives through organ and tissue donation. We want more people to get the call. Every life we can save is a miracle,” Rooney said.

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Participants in the classic included organ recipients, families of organ donors, and those honoring loved ones who died while waiting for an organ. The day of golf and tennis was followed by a reception and awards dinner at Baltusrol.

“This wonderful event helps raise philanthropic dollars to further our mission to raise public awareness about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation,” said Elisse Glennon, Executive Director of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation. “These dollars help us support our donor families, and reach more people and save more lives.”

The NJ Sharing Network Golf & Tennis Classic was held for the first time at Baltusrol, which will be home to the 2016 PGA Championship. Baltusrol, which dates back to 1895, has hosted seven US Opens and one PGA Championship.  Tennis matches took place at the beautiful nearby Centercourt Athletic Club in Chatham.

Morristown resident Lenore Ford, who co-chaired the event, said she wants more people to receive the gift of life.

“When I started volunteering nearly 20 years ago, 42,000 people in our country were waiting for organs. Today that number is 120,000. We need to educate people about the life-saving value of donation. Every transplant saves a life and is a miracle,” Ford said.

Also co-chair is Lisa Meyers of Summit. Her daughter, Sarah, received a liver transplant in 2007 and is now a 19-year-old college student. She volunteers so more people will receive the gift that saved her daughter.

“We believe deeply in spreading the word about organ and tissue donation. This event today was so wonderful and the funds raised will go far toward helping us educate others that donation truly saves lives,” Meyers said.

JD de Leon of Jersey City is proof that organ donation saves lives. The kidney transplant he received in 2007 has allowed him to play one of the most prestigious golf clubs in the country.

“It’s always an emotional feeling to know that I’ve been given a second chance at life. As a result, my upper most thought is to give back. Supporting NJ Sharing Network’s golf and tennis event, and the life-saving work they do, provide me with a way to give back,” said de Leon.

To learn more about organ and tissue donation or to get involved with NJ Sharing Network call 1-800-742-7365 or visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org to register as an organ and tissue donor.