Softball Tournament Returns For 15th Year Of Helping Children’s Specialized Hospital

RAHWAY – For the past 14 years, the Annual Lehrer-Gibilisco Benefit Softball Tournament for Children’s Specialized Hospital has raised money to support the “Lightning Wheels” athletic team.

Playing according to American Association of Softball and Rahway Men’s Slow-Pitch rules, teams will compete on Saturday, Aug. 21, starting at 9 a.m. at Rahway River Park, St. Georges Avenue, in Rahway, at softball diamonds 1 through 5.


Joseph Gibilisco, owner/manager of The Lehrer-Gibilisco Funeral Home in Rahway, began the event 15 years ago with event organizer Darren Lesinski. “We are trying to exceed last years total for the kids,” said Gibilisco. “This is an event that showcases our commitment to helping children achieve their best at all times.”

James M. Zwiebel co-event organizer said that “Everyone involved gets as much satisfaction and pleasures out of this tournament as the kids do.”

Childrens’ Specialized Hospital, with locations in Mountainside, New Brunswick, Fanwood, Toms River, Hamilton and Bayonne are the largest pediatric rehabilitation hospitals in the United States. The affiliate in Mountainside offers a wide range of medical, developmental, educational and rehabilitative services for infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

“Lightning Wheels” is a wheelchair athletic team for children ages 5 to 21 that compete at local, regional and national events. Money raised from the 15th Annual Lehrer-Gibilisco Benefit Softball Tournament will go directly to support the activities of the team.

Corporate sponsorship is essential to the success of the event, according to Gibilisco. The Lehrer-Gibilisco Funeral Home donates all trophies, prizes, shirts, hats and the picnic, so all other proceeds from the corporate sponsors goes directly to the Lightning Wheels kids.

The tournament has grown tremendously during the years, explained Lesinski. “It’s been a great opportunity to help the kids; they have such a great attitude about everything.”

Corporate sponsors may contact Gibilisco at 1-732-388-1874 or Lesinski at 1-732-388-9044. Donations from community members are also welcome, they said.

PLAY BALL! – Pictured Joseph Gibilisco, head coach Trisha Yurochko and event organizer Darren Lesinski with members of the Children’s Specialized Hospital “Lightning Wheels” team are looking for support for the 15th Annual Lehrer-Gibilisco Benefit Softball Tournament.

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