An enthusiastic crowd of more than 500 came to Red Bank’s Count Basie Field on Aug. 20 to enjoy a sunny Saturday of softball and fun at Lunch Break’s annual Community Picnic Softball Classic Tournament & Backpack Giveaway.
Following the stirring rendition of the National Anthem sung by Sheldon Edmond, spectators had a bonus when producer, screenwriter and long-time Lunch Break supporter Jon Stewart went before umpires Mike Ayers and James Plummer to kick off the tournament by throwing the ceremonial first pitch.
Once again, past champion New Jersey Natural Gas emerged the winner of the coveted Lunch Break tournament trophy. The competition included teams from HABcore, Morgan Stanley, Manasquan Bank, Monmouth Cardiology Associates, HBK CPAs & Consultants, and Lunch Break.
“Everyone is always a winner at the Lunch Break annual Community Picnic, especially our community members in need,” said Director of Administration and Special Events Millie Jeter, who organized the return of the much-anticipated community event, on hiatus since 2019 because of COVID-19 safety restrictions. “We couldn’t have done it without the tremendous help from volunteers, Team Healthy Together for Lunch Break, the staff and the support of our donors, local businesses and corporations, who helped to bring smiles to the faces of our families.”
Attendees at this free community event were also treated to more than 750 healthy meals provided by Eat Clean Bro, Sweetgreen and Lunch Break. There were snow cones, fun and games, including a video truck, crafts, tai chi, toy and gift raffle and the bicycle and scooter giveaway. Also included in the day’s festivities were 21 nonprofit, healthcare vendors and the Healthy Together for Lunch Break team who provided preventive healthcare and nutrition information, as well as health screening opportunities.
Despite the food and fun, the big highlight of the afternoon was the Back to School Drive and Backpack Giveaway, which distributed nearly 400 backpacks filled with donated school supplies to area children.
“We are grateful for the continued commitment from our incredible board, volunteers, staff and supporters who, year after year, make this event a wonderful opportunity to be in community with the community,” said Jeter.
Lunch Break freely provides life’s basic necessities of food, clothing, fellowship, temporary housing and life skills for the greater Monmouth County community.
To learn more, visit LunchBreak.org. Follow them Facebook, Instagram Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Photos courtesy of Millie Jeter/Lunch Break