FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8, 2008
CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia
SHERIFF’S OFFICERS TO SQUARE OFF AGAINST CORRECTIONS OFFICERS
ELIZABETH---Union County Corrections Officers and Sheriff’s Officers will play each other in the first-ever Freeholder’s Charitable Cup Softball game on Saturday, June 21st, 1 p.m. at Warinanco Park in Elizabeth as a fundraiser to benefit Sheriff Ralph Froehlich’s Project Lifesaver program.
The Project Lifesaver program helps individuals with autism, alzheimer’s disease or other debilitating disorders by outfitting them with a watch-sized transmitter which can be tracked by the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit if the individual is reported missing or lost.
Tickets for the game are $10--with all proceeds going toward Project Lifesaver---and can be purchased by calling Undersheriff Gerald Green (908-527-4450), Jim Roche, President of PBA Local #199 representing corrections officers (908-527-1333), and the toll-free Info Line at 1-877-424-1234. The winner of the game will be awarded the first annual Freeholder’s Charitable Cup after the game, which is slated to be played on Diamond #2 at the park. The winner will hold the cup for a full year until the following year’s rematch. (A rain date will be announced shortly.)
“We are working with Sheriff Froehlich to raise money to purchase the equipment for this worthwhile program while raising awareness about it throughout the County so we can expand enrollment in the program,” said Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada.
Project Lifesaver, a national program, was initiated locally several years ago by Sheriff Froehlich and Morris County Sheriff Edward Rochford, and it has since spread throughout the state and now New Jersey is the only state in the nation with complete coverage for the program in every County.
The lightweight, battery-operated transmitters used through Project Lifesaver can be tracked for up to several miles, but with densely populated areas cutting back on the range. Each device has a unique radio signal that broadcasts the radio signal 24 hours a day.
The wristband transmitters cost about $285 each and $15 monthly for batteries and maintenance. A transmitter worn by an Elizabeth man several years ago helped Sheriff’s Officers using the Project Lifesaver program to rescue him within two hours of the 74-year-old man’s disappearance.
Speaking of the game, Sheriff Froehlich said he is anticipating an exciting contest between the two organizations, which have played each other before in softball leagues.
“The reason this is going to be a great battle is that all players will see the importance of the game—helping people in need,” Froehlich said. “Project Lifesaver benefits people of all age groups.”
Froehlich, the nation’s longest-running Sheriff, said he plans on participating in the game.
The Sheriff’s Officers may be facing an uphill battle, however, as the Corrections Officers have won two of the last three Police League Championships. Undersheriff Gerald Green, who is helping to organize the event, said this would not deter his team.
“We have extra motivation because it is for a good cause, and we want to show that we are one of the elite teams in the County,” Green said.
Jim Roche, President of PBA Local #199, which represents all corrections officers anticipates a competitive game.
“We are honored to participate, and we are looking forward to raising money for the Sheriff’s program,” Roche said.