RAHWAY – For the past 16 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. 25, 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 17 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.”
“Everyone involved gets as much satisfaction and pleasures out of this tournament as the kids do,” said James M. Zwiebel, co-event organizer.
Childrens’ Specialized Hospital, with locations in Mountainside, Fanwood and Toms River, is 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 competes at local, regional and national events. Money raised from the 17th 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 are invited to contact Joseph Gibilisco at 1-732-388-1874 or Darren Lesinski at 1-973-906-1951. Donations from community members are also welcome.