RANDOLPH, NJ- Hundreds of Randolph friends, families, and students gathered during the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 5, to watch the anticipated Halloween Baseball Classic in memory of the late seniors Jack Timmerman and Calvin Verduga.
This fundraiser was organized completely by Randolph High School baseball players Brandon Lopez and Andrew Hafner. Lopez said, “Last year we had the idea for the game, but when the tragedy happened we decided the day after to make it a fundraiser for the scholarship fund in honor of the boys.”
Corey Basciano, a senior at Randolph and friend of the boys said, “I think it is really good that the students are able to do this all by themselves without any help from the administration.”
“Brandon and Andrew are excellent examples of what we hope to instill in all of our students,” Deborah Iosso, principal of Randolph High School, said in response to the event. Iosso continued, “These two young men not only honored the memories of Calvin and Jack- they brought together our Randolph community for a terrific afternoon.”
All of the money raised from the event is planned to be put towards the Randolph High School Verduga-Timmerman Scholarship. The hope is that the Halloween Classic fundraiser will be an annual event, continued in the future supporting the scholarship past the class of 2015.
Before the first pitch was thrown out by the families of Jack and Calvin, the organizers reported to have already raised $7,000 for the scholarship. Jackie Timmerman, mother of Jack, sported a Lord of the Rings costume in honor of Jack’s favorite movie.
Two fellow seniors, Kerry Eberly and Brennan Corcoran, sang the national anthem prior to the famous "Eddie the Ump" calling the start of the game.
The players on both the Randolph baseball team and the travel team Locked In Expos, ran onto the field in their costumes. From a giraffe to a hotdog to a clown, the creativity gave a “comical yet competitive” feel to the game that Lopez and Hafner promised.
The Randolph High School student body came dressed in their best costumes to watch the game, support the cause, and get a good laugh from the “internet sensation” Eddie the Ump. Andrew Hafner said, “We had a great crowd turn out; My favorite part was Eddie the Ump and everyone that came out to support us.”
In the wake of recent events, everyone at Randolph was proud to see Randolph win 4-2, while celebratiing Jack and Calvin in a fun, uplifting way. “I’m very proud to be a part of the Randolph community and see everyone that came out to the game. It means a lot not just to the families but also to the friends,” said Carly Whitman of RHS.
Many local businesses generously donated gift certificates, gift baskets, and other prizes that were raffled off to fans in attendance, while others donated funds to the charity. Lopez and Hafner expressed their sincere thanks and gratitude to all who donated, and all who assisted in the planning and execution of the event.
They added this note in the program: "Thank you goes out to Mrs. Iosso, Mr. Spencer, and Ms. Foran for supporting us in this event. A special thank you to the Verduga and Timmerman families - for allowing us to honor their sons Calvin and Jack - who will continue to live in our hearts forever."
***Editors note: A related story with details on the game and quotes from the players will be published this week.