Fair Haven Mayor Josh Halpern opened his home to host the fifth annual Halpern Invitational Men’s Ping Pong Tournament, renamed this year as The Mayor’s Invitational. The friendly competition brought together 40 players who raised $2,670, which was donated entirely to the Fair Haven Community Appeal.
The annual Fair Haven Community Appeal raises funds to support nine different Fair Haven entities. This year’s appeal supports the Fair Haven Recreation Commission, the Fair Haven Library, Interfaith Neighbors, The ARC, 180 Turning Lives Around, Mental Health Association, Fair Haven Shade Tree Commission, Fair Haven Fields Natural Area and the Garden Club of Fair Haven.
The winner of the tournament donates the prize to a charity of their choice. In the past, donations have been made to the Alzheimer’s Association, National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, National Alliance on Mental Illness, a GoFundMe for a local resident in need of medical care, and Michael’s Feat, which offers assistance to families with seriously ill newborns.
This year’s 40 players, all from Fair Haven, were split into eight groups of five to participate in the round robin event. The top two players from each group advanced to the Bracket of 16. The tournament began at 11 am and ended at 6 pm, after 112 games were played.
Halpern paid for all overhead which allowed 100 percent of funds to be donated directly to charity. In addition to being a significant fundraiser, the event was a whole lot of fun and a great networking opportunity as community members came together to make new friends.
The president of the Fair Haven Community Appeal, former Fair Haven mayor Mike Halfacre, was presented with a check on Aug. 25. He said the donation was “the single largest donation to the Appeal that he can remember.”