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During the Hanover Township Little League (HTLL) April 27th opening day ceremony, it was “Game On!” as Mayor Ron Francioli announced this year’s “Annual Charity Classic,” a softball rematch between Bayer and Wegmans, Saturday, August 10th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Malapardis Park in Cedar Knolls. Both companies’ employees stepped up to the plate last year for seven innings of competitive fun that ended with a Wegmans’ victory, all for a great cause – a $5,000.00 donation from each business to the Interfaith Food Pantry. The non-profit organization, which feeds Morris County families struggling financially, will again be this year’s beneficiary.
Joining Francioli to make the announcement were Mike Halibej, HTLL President, Ray Kerins, Bayer’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, and Tim Lockwood, Hanover Wegmans’ Store Manager. The HTLL, whose members will play a significant role in this year’s Charity Classic, honored Kerins and Lockwood by asking them to throw out the first Little League Opening Day pitches. The friendly rivals gladly obliged and viewed the opportunity as a fitting prelude to the August softball skirmish.
Pictured above (from left to right): Ray Kerins, Ron Francioli, and Tim Lockwood pause for a photo at the 2018 Hanover Charity Classic Event.
“We look forward to successfully defending our title against Bayer,” stated Lockwood, “and are thankful to work with such a great community supporter as our friends at Bayer.”
“Actually, the Bayer team is ready to win the rematch. But the real winners will be the members of our community who will benefit from the Bayer-Wegman’s partnership supporting the great work of the Interfaith Food Pantry,” said Kerins.
Mayor Francioli applauded Bayer and Wegmans for their ongoing, strong community support, and lauded the civic groups, volunteers, and other non-profits who will be partnering with the municipality to make the second Charity Classic an even greater success than last year’s. “With the Rotary, Knights of Columbus, Whippanong Library, Fire Departments, and Little League helping, we’re envisioning a truly dynamic event,” noted Francioli. “We’re adding some things to make it even more fun-filled and family oriented. There’ll be free giveaways, photo ops with Wegmans’ Ready for Prime Time Produce Players and Recreation’s Sting the Bee, and a concert following the game at 4:00 p.m. by The Shots with the Bergen County Firefighters Bagpipes.”
Members of the public are urged to save the August 10th date (rain date August 11th) and to check the Hanover Township website, the Hanover Township Recreation Facebook page, and local newspapers for future Charity Classic updates. Admission to the event is free, but it is requested that attendees help their Morris County neighbors in need by bringing a canned good or another non-perishable food item that will join a collection to be used by the Interfaith Food Pantry in feeding hungry families.