Toms River Hosts Northeast Women’s State Police Softball Tournament
By Debbi Winogracki
In the 11 years of the Northeast Women’s State Police Softball Tournament, the main goal has always been to raise money for charity.
This year, nine states from the Northeast with a Women’s State Police Softball Team, participated in the competition. The teams include NJ, NY, DE, MA, MD, PA, RI, SC and VA. The teams descended upon Toms River as this years’ location for the tournament.
Jeanne Hengemuhle, SFC, and this years Coordinator for the State Police Softball Tournament says, “It’s competitive, but fun. This event brings families & women’s law enforcement together. This weekend included golf and a banquet with a silent auction, held at the American Legion 129, all to raise funds for local charities.”
Deputy Superintendant, Lt. Colonel Louis Klock, of the State Police, spoke to the crowd at the Charity Softball Tournament, and told the women that they are an example of what makes public service a staple. “I’m standing in front of a lot of people who have strong character.” As the host state, New Jersey gets to choose the charities that will be the recipients of the donations. This year, there will be generous donations to both Womenspace, a non-profit organization that provides services to individuals impacted by domestic and sexual violence, and also to the National Guard State Family Readiness Council, which supports families with financial help and patriotic support.
Toms River Township Mayor Thomas Kelaher welcomed all of the female State Police Softball players to the new Veterans Park. “This is absolutely a thrill to have the tournament in Toms River with representatives from nine State Police organizations. This is something we had in our minds when we built the field to make sure it had the right specifications for a tournament. I hope this is the beginning of an on-going tradition.”
Kelaher also noted that the tournament brought money to the community by staying at hotels and dining in local restaurants. “I hear that one hotel alone had over 60 rooms blocked off for the players, and many of our restaurants were filled. I think the business community is very happy with their arrival.”
Photos by Debbi Winogracki