Playing softball for two very good causes was the theme for nine teams in Greenwich on Saturday.
A softball tournament was held on Saturday to benefit Greenwich police sergeant Roger Petrone Jr., who has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Held at the Old Greenwich Civic Center, the event also raised money for the Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation Scholarship Fund. Petrone, a Stamford native, has been a member of the Greenwich Police Department for 17 years. He learned he was stricken with the disease that just two out of every 100,000 people between ages 40-70 have, when he was 37 years old in 2007. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Garden Catering in Greenwich stepped up to the plate in a big way on Saturday. The popular eatery in town provided free food for the tournament’s participants and families, making the tournament even more enjoyable for the participants. Organized by Brad Wallace, Saturday’s softball tournament saw almost 100 players gladly play several games for the important causes.
“This is a great tournament and I want to thank Brad Wallace for organizing it and getting everyone together,” said sergeant Tom Kelly of the Greenwich Police Department. “Roger Petrone has meant a lot to the Greenwich police force. He is a proud person and a great cop. He will always be part of our force.”
Kelly pointed out that a softball tournament was held two years ago for Greenwich police officer Antonio Rivera, who is battling diabetes. Wallace was eager to organize another tournament this year, and as Saturday’s turnout showed, it was indeed, a success.
“Every little bit helps the cause,” said Wallace, a teacher at Central Middle School, who also coached the Greenwich High School varsity wrestling team several years ago. “It’s nice to bring families and old friends together for this event. The spirit of the event is what’s important. Garden Catering stepping in and generously donating food and their employees allowed us to raise more money.”
The nine teams competing in the tournament included: Greenwich Police Department, AAMCO of Norwalk, Corbo’s Corner Deli, Jem Limousines, Tudor Investment Corporation, Chicken Joe’s, Rudy’s Limousine, Huddle Up Sports and Fairways Restaurant.
Chicken Joe’s won the tournament, defeating runner-up Fairways Restaurant by one run. Mike Marullo and Jay Greco shared the tournament’s Most Valuable Player honors. Marullo also helped coordinate the event, getting nine teams to participate.
“It feels good to get together with old friends for a good cause,” Marullo said. “We are all excited to be here and we were happy to get nine teams here today.”
A 5K walk/run was also held for Petrone Sunday at Roger Sherman Park on Arch St.
- David Fierro