ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury school administrators threw a change-up this year to Landon Monro, the founder of the annual Landon Monro Stand Up to Cancer charity baseball tournament: They moved the date of the high school graduation ceremony from June 24 to June 19, the night before the long-planned event.
Monro, 17, who started the fundraising tournament when he was 13, said the graduation schedule change was a bombshell. He'd planned to spend June 19 up to his neck in last-minute tasks. Now, as a graduating senior, he'll be at Mennen Sports Arena instead.
“It takes a lot of preparation to run this event, and we utilize every minute the day prior,” said Monro.
Calling in a Reliever
Despite the unexpected curve-ball tossed his way, Monro is determined to make the seventh installment of his namesake fundraiser a success. He’s relying heavily on his 15-year-old sister, Lindsay – a Roxbury High School freshman – to assist with the preparation.
“It will be hectic for sure, but well worth it,” said Monro. His sister is already working hard, soliciting local businesses to contribute to the cause and doing all she can to recruit young players.
“Landon and I are looking for players of all ages to sign up,” Lindsay said. “People can sign up as individuals or as a team. We encourage all local teams, both rec and travel, to get involved. Every penny raised goes directly to Stand Up To Cancer.”
The tournaments were started by Landon in honor of his uncle, who died from cancer. They so far have raised about $35,000 for Stand Up to Cancer, a non-profit organization. Last year’s event raised about $9,000, exceeding the 2018 amount, said the siblings.
“While Landon and I are appreciative for every penny, we are striving to exceed last year’s total this June,” said Lindsay.
A Fun Day for a Good Cause
The tournament, which takes place at the Righter Road baseball field in Succasunna, costs $28 per player. It’s designed to be a fun day for youngsters, but adults are invited to sign-up and play in an end-of-the-day softball game, said the teens.
“The turnout was great last year, but we are hoping more kids from kindergarten through high school will sign up and participate,” Lindsay said. “We want people to get involved even if they aren’t 'into' baseball and softball. The day is really about coming together as a community to fight for a cure and not about the competitiveness of the game.”
Last year’s tournament had four games. The siblings are hoping they get enough participants to add a game or two more this year.
Landon, who turns 18 at the end of this month, is headed to Rutgers University where he’ll be playing baseball. That means next year’s tournament will be largely up to his sister.
“The last six years of this event has been such an amazing experience,” he said. “I’ve met a lot of great people who have supported me and encouraged me. This year I’ve started the process of passing on the torch to Lindsay. She’s stepped up tremendously for the 2020 event and I know she will do great things moving forward.”
Got His Back
Landon said it takes “extensive commitment … all year long to plan and execute” the annual tournament. “Attending Rutgers-Newark, while also playing baseball, will certainly be a full-time job and then some,” he said, noting he will be “only a phone call away” if Lindsay needs help.
Lindsay said she's ready.
“I’ve watched Landon take this tournament from barely two games to something incredible,” she said. “I’ve learned the kind of dedication it takes to plan and accomplish a fundraiser of this magnitude. My ultimate goal is to continue this event throughout my high school career. I am committed to raising money and awareness in hopes we find a cure for cancer.”
To sign-up for the tournament, make out checks to "Stand Up to Cancer" and send them to Landon/Lindsay Monro at 12 Meredith Ct., Succasunna, NJ 07876. Those wishing to register players must RSVP by June 12 by sending an email - stating the child or children's name(s), age(s) and grade (s) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses wishing to become tournament sponsors can email that address or get a form by clicking here.
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