Roxbury P.B.A. Local 311 Bats For Cancer
By Chelsea Opong-Wadeer
Roxbury P.B.A. Local 311 hosted its 10th annual Wiffle Ball Tournament on Sat., Aug. 1, at Horseshoe Lake in Succasunna. This tournament brings out locals in the community to form their own teams and raise money for a member of the community who is struggling with cancer.
This year, local resident, Joey Clayton was sponsored. Clayton was diagnosed with inoperable high-grade astrocytoma also known as glioblastoma. He was officially diagnosed on Dec. 19, 2014 and has completed 33 rounds of radiation therapy. Clayton will be receiving chemotherapy for the next year.
“Although this cancer is very aggressive, it hasn’t stopped Joey from doing the things he loves,” said Joey’s father, Joseph Clayton. “During his treatment one of the things he hated most was missing school, because he loves it so much.”
Being a young boy with aggressive cancer to some may seem hindered to a boy’s childhood, but for Clayton cancer wouldn’t be able to take that smile off his face. As he walked around with his Pepsi in hand and his dad’s hand in the other, he interacted with the players and cheered them all on.
“Honestly if you didn’t know who he was, you probably wouldn’t have even guessed he had cancer,” Clayton added.
The Roxbury P.B.A Local 311 has been hosting this wiffleball tournament for the past 10 years according to Brian Feeney, who hosted this year’s event.
“It all started 10 years ago when the lieutenant’s wife in our district was diagnosed with a brain tumor,” Feeney said. “Local residents did the same tournament like we are today to help raise money for his wife.”
“Over the nine years this has been going on, we have raised over $131,000 for cancer,” he added. “None of the money comes from P.B.A. just from local residents who really care.”
The wiffleball tournament brought out many teams from all ages, some who have played all their lives to some who were just starting up. A team that goes by the name, Plastic Magic had returned for their 10th year in the tournament.
“We’ve all been playing since we were ten,” they all said at once. “And we just love wiffleball!”
Plastic Magic includes, Joe Cultrera, AJ Nolan, Carmen D-Aiuto, and Shawn Fleming. All four guys wore white and enjoyed the game with the other excited teams. Along with Plastic Magic, another team who took the winning prize in last year’s tournament came out for this year’s event, The Roxbury Raiders.
“We are sponsored by Stephen Alfard, so shout out to him,” said Timmy Pilrun.
“We love wiffleball. This tournament really brings the community together and it’s really great that the cops put it together.”
“It’s definitely different from your average backyard wiffleball game,” Andrew Baltz added.
The Roxbury Raiders include Timmy Pilrun 20, Andrew Baltz 19, Matt Dachowski 19, and Brian Dachowski 14. Brian is one of their newest players, and he’s happy to be apart of such a great cause.
“We really hope to keep this going,” Feeney said. “We do this for them because we are fortunate to do this, and one of the greatest feelings is just being able to give back to the community.”
The P.B.A. Local 311 Wiffle Ball Tournament is made possible through Roxbury Recreation and local businesses such as Cliff’s Ice Cream. “We are really thankful for all the support we get,” Feeney added.