WOODLAND PARK, NJ - The fourth annual Families Behind the Badge softball tournament will be postponed due to forecasted rain. Originally scheduled to be held Saturday, May 19, it will now be held on Sunday, May 20 at the Memorial Field complex behind Beatrice Gilmore and Memorial Schools off McBride Avenue. Admission is $5.
Team check in is at 9 a.m.; opening ceremonies begin at 9:30 and first games start at 10 sharp.
Every dollar raised makes a difference in the lives of families who need it the most. Thanks to the continued support and generosity of Anthony Colandro of Gun For Hire 2018 t-shirts and raffle tickets will be sold Thursday, May 17 and Friday, May 18 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Gun For Hire, McBride Ave.,Woodland Park. Shirts are $15. The 50/50 is over $3,000.
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.
This year the event will honor Lt. Christopher Robateau.
The Jersey City Police Department lieutenant was struck and killed by a vehicle while checking on the welfare of another driver who had been involved in an accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. He is survived by his wife and three children.
All are welcome to attend and cheer on the teams. There will be food, a beer garden, bouncy house for the kids and more.
Participating departments include the Woodland Park Police Department, Jersey City Police Department, Paterson Police Department, Bloomingdale Police Department, Montclair Police Department, Bloomfield Police Department, Belleville Police Department, Passaic County Sheriff's Department, Passaic County Correction Officers, Verona Police Department, Passaic Police Department, and the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office.
Last year, $10,800 was raised and a check for was presented to $1,800 to Belinda Howard and Bavennia Franklin, mother and sister of 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 for 8 months at the time of his death and was survived by a 16-month-old son. In addition, $9,000 was donated to the NJ State PBA Survivors Fund from the event.
In previous years, the family of Fair Lawn Police Officer Mary Ann Collura, who was killed in a shootout, and the family of Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Santiago, who was killed while responding to a robbery, were assisted.
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.