Giving Back

Sparta Police Officer Joins Police Unity Tour for Fallen Officers

103fb21f1ad8eaec564a_IMG_8274.JPG
Team West Milford held a fundraising evening at the Mohawk House in Sparta for their Unity Tour ride to Washington D.C. supporting fallen officers. Credits: Jennifer Dericks
9e03f6d6796ecde305ef_IMG_8288.JPG
Officers riding in Unity Tour received donation from Sparta VFW, Commander Pete Litchfield, and Asst. Commander John Finkeldie. The VFW also gave a plaque to Steve Scro for his continued philanthropy Credits: Jennifer Dericks
94ae12fc1619367aa9e1_744febaa4eb4756215d4_past_unity_tour_1.PNG
Unity Tour 2017 at the Chesapeake Credits: Provided by Brian Seeley
d58b495fd6a6513d56cf_past_unity_tour_3.JPG
The support trailer - Sparta PBA to be added this year Credits: Provided by Brian Seeley
869901aad7ae4722a007_past_unity_tour_4.JPG
Bracelet worn by riders, honoring the fallen officer they are representing Credits: Provided by Brian Seeley
eeabdcc5307170d49283_past_unity_tour_5.JPG
At the memorial in Washington D.C. Credits: Provided by Brian Seeley
be5c141a5a1c23c5bc4f_past_unity_tour_6.JPG
Staging from RFK stadium in Washington D.C. to ride to the memorial Credits: Provided by Brian Seeley
9979f7b5239809f8f130_1e041d7f8a9e282a3f4c_b8ce7f2033b1c7ee614f_Past_Unity_tour.PNG
Leaving for the second stage of the ride 2017 Credits: Provided by Brian Seeley
17bbe2f9f88438b1152c_past_unity_tours.JPG
Riding in Washington D.C. 2017 Credits: Provided by Brian Seeley
103fb21f1ad8eaec564a_IMG_8274.JPG

SPARTA, NJ – This year Sparta Police Sgt. Rob Fraser will be representing his department and town in the annual Police Unity Ride to Washington D.C. to honor fallen police officers. 

“After 19 years [with the Sparta Police Department], with the support of my wife and children, I’m finally able to do it,” Fraser said. 

Fraser will be part of an 11-man team of area police officers.  He will join Brian Seeley, Dan Florio and Mike Ondish from the Jefferson Police Department and Rob Kulawiak, Anthony Frassa, Nick Snook, Matt Kloo, James Fulton, Gary Yarnell and Shannon Sommerville of the West Milford Police Department.

Sign Up for E-News

Team West Milford will ride as part of Chapter 7 from California.  To qualify to participate the team must raise $20,900.  They are holding fundraising events and selling t-shirt and sweatshirts to reach the goal.  After an event at Gatwynns in Jefferson last week the team had gotten nearly halfway to their goal.

The Mohawk House, in support of the team of 11 riders, donated a portion of the profits on Thursday night.  Team members, supporters, friends and fellow officers were at the restaurant with restaurant owner Steve Scro.

The Sparta VFW Commander Pete Litchfield and Assistant Commander John Finkeldie presented a check to the Team West Milford.  They also presented a plaque to Scro for his philanthropy. 

“Steve helps us immensely,” Litchfield said.  “He has supported us since the beginning.” In return they wanted to “support the fundraiser for the ride wholeheartedly.”

The two explained Scro helped raise money for the VFW reconstruction. The new facility is now used by many Sparta organizations.  Sparta Youth Football and Cheer, Sparta Lacrosse, Sparta Womens Club, the FOP, the Blue Knights, Trout Unlimited, Sparta Softball, and “so many birthday parties all use the new hall. It’s amazing,” Litchfield said.

Team coordinator Seeley said on Thursday, May 10 riders will depart for their first stop in Philadelphia, where they have taken part in a memorial service in past years, conducted by a former officer.  On Friday they will ride more than 100 miles to Baltimore, Maryland.

On Saturday the Team West Milford officers will join riders from all over the country, staging in the RFK stadium in Washington D.C. “All chapters then ride to the memorial together,” Seeley said.

For Seeley this will be the third ride.  Each year prior to the main event, officers are assigned a fallen officer whom they will represent.  They get a metal bracelet engraved with the name of the fallen officer, the end of watch date and the department in which the officer served. 

The teams strive to reach out to the family of the officer for whom they ride.  The teams will also meet up with the families on the last leg of the ride as they arrive at the memorial in Washington, D.C. There is a candlelight vigil scheduled for May 13 on the National Mall.  

The ride has gone off each year since 1997.  It began in Florham Park, New Jersey raising $18,000.  Last year, the 20th anniversary of the ride, nearly 2500 riders from all over the country took part, donating $2.6 million to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, according to the organization. 

In the 20 years since it’s inception the ride has raised $23 million for the fund.  In 2005 the tour pledged $5 million to support the National Law Enforcement Museum.  The organization said they fulfilled that promise in 2009.  The following year the tour raised $1.1 million to restore the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall according to the organization’s publications.

Two members of Team West Milford, Kulawiak and Frassa provide support driving the trailer along the route and setting up for breaks along the way.

“We couldn’t do it without them,” Seeley said.  They break every 30-35 miles, according to Seeley, to rest and refuel.

They riders arrive to a crowd of about 10 thousand people at the memorial, according to Seeley. 

“We ride for those who died,” is the motto of the tour. 

“I’m pretty excited to do it.  It’s for a worthy cause,” Fraser said. “Steve and Rachel [Scro] have been generous.”

“Businesses have been good to us,” Seeley said. 

According to Seeley and Fraser they anticipate an additional event in upcoming weeks, possibly at the Grasshopper restaurant.  Donations are welcome at any time. 

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is on E Street between 4th and 5th streets.  The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial visitors center in located at 400 7th Street on the corner of 7th and D Street in Washington D.C.

 

Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox. 

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Sparta

Sparta Fire Trucks Have Adequate Access through New LMCC Gates

July 14, 2018

SPARTA, NJ — Emergency equipment can access the newly refurbished Sparta gate on West Shore Trail in the Lake Mohawk reservation, according to the Lake Mohawk Country Club Manager John Stanley. At the June 11 Sparta Township meeting, councilman Jerry Murphy raised a concern about the new gate not being sufficiently wide to allow a fire truck to pass through. 

In response to an ...

Sparta Police: Wanted Elizabeth Man Gets DWI

SPARTA, NJ – A man from Elizabeth was stopped for crossing the line on Tomahawk Trail.  Sparta Police Officer Jonathan Poon stopped Eduardo Idiaquez, 45, on July 8, around 7:30 p.m. police said.

He was taken to Sparta Police Department headquarters for processing and breath testing.  Idiaquez was charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to maintain a lane, driving while ...

Sparta Police: Weaving Woman and Passenger Face Drug and Other Charges

SPARTA, NJ – After being pulled over for weaving between lanes, a Newark woman and a man from Millville are facing a number of charges including for drugs and having a suspended license.  According to police, Sparta Sgt. Frank Schomp stopped Monique Covington, 41 on July 7 around 8 p.m.

Covington told Schomp her name was Zakiyyah Cooper but that proved to be false and came back as a ...

No Dog Beach on Lake Hopatcong?

July 9, 2018

Hello Editor, 
 I have spent considerable time trying to find somewhere on Lake Hopatcong to bring my dog for a swim.
What I have found is ridiculous - this lake has approximately 28 miles of shoreline and I found NO PLACE am allowed to bring him.  Am hoping you can make the public aware and maybe someone will know more than me and inform where dogs are allowed?
Many thanks for ...

Chemist Congratulates Sparta High School Chem Olympians

Congratulation to the ladies from Sparta High School who finished first and second in the Chemistry Olympics.

I am very pleased to see women succeeding in chemistry.

Martin Feil,

Newton, NJ
Retired Chemist and Chemistry Teacher

Upcoming Events

Tue, July 17, 6:00 PM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Education Giving Back Law & Justice

Carousel_image_7611ce284a8c86d65b64_37d34f9a-c5cd-4fb1-8bf8-b5b7319cb94e

Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Paterson Board of Education , Paterson

Teacher Job Fair

Education

Carousel_image_50e2ca549a0aca1616bd_nj_blood_services

Sat, July 21, 7:45 AM

Saint Kateri Parish, Sparta

Sussex County Blood Drive

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_499d1dd211c2bd6b0cb1_img_6497

Sat, July 21, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Carousel_image_bdb5745746764dec42d1_sparta_historical_society

Sun, July 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_42776b9cbb4ed47ca5de_paintbrush-pallet-

Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_43e01e4e18a7a89ca0c9_paintbrush-pallet-

Fri, July 27, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_499d1dd211c2bd6b0cb1_img_6497

Sat, July 28, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 28, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Newton High School FFA Students Dominate at State Convention

July 11, 2018

LONG BRANCH, NJ - The Newton FFA Chapter won several of their events at the 89th New Jersey State FFA Convention in May at Monmouth University. The students brought home several awards competing against the best in the state.

Freshman Kirk Avondoglio took first place in the state FFA Creed Public Speaking competition.  The event requires participants to recite the creed in front of a ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 13, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

4 Top Tips for Kitchen Remodels

Getting ready to remodel your New Jersey home's kitchen? Team Nest Builder shares these top 4 tips for maintaining your sanity (and budget)!

Expect the Unexpected

Even the best-laid plans go awry during a kitchen remodel--be prepared!  Add a 10% cushion to your finanical plan for problems that may arise. In case something happens, this could save your time and budget.

Make A ...

Get Out and Garden During FREE Open Gates Weekend

Team Nest Builder wants you to discover the beauty and diversity of Morris County’s Community Gardens through the people, plants, and planting techniques that make gardens thrive. It's Morris County Community Garden FREE Open Gates Weekend!

Tour the many gardens, discover how to start one in your town, and learn more about growing your own food. Enjoy food tastings and demonstrations ...

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000

Concerned that your family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – your own home? Let Team Nest Builder assuage your fears...

It’s not just a home’s price that determines its affordability--it’s also the monthly cost determined by the price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it.

Today, mortgage interest ...

Don't Miss Out on this DOUBLE Sparta 4BR OPEN HOUSE Weekend

Team Nest Builder offers not one, but TWO enchanting homes this weekend---185 Milton Road on Saturday, and 28 Waters Edge on Sunday (1-3pm both days.)  Seeking the perfect Sparta home? Make plans today! Want to learn more? Read on!

185 Milton Road: A Stately Sparta 4BR 2.5 Bath on 6+ Beautiful Acres

You’ll fall in love with this gorgeous 4BR, 2.5 Bathroom ...

Hit the Sparta 4th of July Parade and Lake Mohawk Fireworks

It’s time for the skies to explode in beautiful color as crowds “ooh” and “ahh”! Here, Team Nest Builder shares the scoop on the this week’s Lake Mohawk fireworks display and the Sparta 4th of July Parade.  Join in the fun!

Lake Mohawk Country Club Fireworks

Grab your viewing spot early!  Fireworks begin at dusk on Tuesday, July 3rd.

Be a Triathlon Volunteer!

Summertime is here and upon us Sparta residents, bringing a variety of exciting events to our area. Well, Pass It Along is BACK with the 9th Annual Triathlon at Lake Mohawk Country Club, located in Sparta, on Saturday, July 28, 2018!

This athletic event draws in several hundred people, both participants and spectators, to Lake Mohawk. Volunteers are needed to assist with the event in ...

It's Time to Swim, Bike and Run with Pass It Along!

 

 

 

“If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race it’s up to you.”  – Dave Scott (Triathlete)

Join us on Saturday, July 28 at 7:00 am at the Lake Mohawk Country Club for the 9th annual Pass It Along Triathlon! ...

The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

NEWTON, NJ - The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

 

Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders June 27 Meeting

NEWTON, NJ - Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders June 27 meeting video.

 

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Encourages Family Fun with Online Fishing Tournament

July 16, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ — The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) is asking families to cast their lines and reel in some quality time this summer as part of the fourth annual Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs Online NJ Family Fishing Tournament.

The competition will be held from July 27 to August 5 as a way to encourage families to enjoy a day of fishing, while giving ...