Wiffle Ball Tournament Held in Jackson in Memory of James Volpe
By Rob Meleo
The James Volpe Foundation hosted their 2nd Annual Wiffle Ball and Family Day outing on Saturday August 18, 2012 at the Holbrook Little League Complex in Jackson, NJ. While it rained; poured in fact most of the morning, things were looking pretty ominous. With puddles increasing and much debate, the threat of postponing the event was becoming very real. “There was no way I ever thought this thing was getting off the ground for today”, claimed one of the many volunteers helping set up for the event. But then almost as if it was some sort of divine intervention the rains suddenly stopped and the clouds parted reviling beautiful blue sunny skies with comfortable temperatures. “We all know James’ was having a good laugh at our expense” said James’ mom Christine in regards to the rainy morning. “He always had a good sense of humor”. “But as he always does, he came though for us again. He is always smiling down on us”, added James father, Anthony Volpe.
It really turned out to be a beautiful day. It was a day of laughs, spending time with good people, playing wiffle ball and celebrating James Volpe. There were many activities going on including several rides for younger children, carnival games, volley ball, entertainment by DJ Vinny Cataldo and more. For the adults there was a 50/50, approximately 80 gift baskets in the Chinese Auction including a 42” LED TV courtesy Best Buy of Howell, 4 NY Yankee tickets which included dinner at Hard Rock Café, gift cards to local and NYC restaurants, Broadway show tickets and so much more. The food was certainly plentiful. All you can eat sausage and peppers, hamburgers, hotdogs, several different salads are just part of the menu and don’t forget assorted soft drinks. For $2, beer for the adults was also available in the beer garden. Oh, and did we mention there was wiffle ball too, 44 teams in all! Feedback from those in attendance (450+) was universal, to no surprise – A good time was had by all. “It was the block party atmosphere we hoped it would be”, quipped Anthony Volpe.
Barbara Alexander, James’ aunt and Godmother who is Co-Chair and CEO of James Volpe Foundation explained, “This is really the end of the major fund raising season for us. We may have a few smaller events around the holiday season. We will be crunching the numbers in the next week or so and then we will see where we stand. But this was a fun event for sure”. “We are all here to honor James and his memory. We are now looking forward to meeting as a committee and discussing how we can help those in need in accordance to our mission statement”, stated Co-Chairperson Rob Meleo. “After all, its’ what we do … help those we can reach out to”.
“In the end, James made everything right”, claimed his mom Christine looking up at the clear skies.
Right as rain, one could say …
James Volpe Foundation is still in its infancy as a foundation. Its concept was conceived shortly after his death as a passenger in an automobile accident on May 13, 2011 but took several months before finally receiving 501(3)(c) status. All Executive Board and Committee members are volunteers. As such, all proceeds will be used to support young members of our communities reach their highest potential in education and sports through scholarships and other financial means that might not otherwise be afforded to them. The foundation also extends their support to bereaving families by providing resources to assist them through their time of need. To date, the foundation has donated a pair of baseball scoreboards and upwards of twenty thousand dollars to such causes and coming to the aid of dozens of families. For additional information, visit their web site at www.jamesvolpefoundation.org. As a 501(3)(c) foundation, all donations are tax deductable.