Press Release-Somerville Elks Lodge #1068’s 24th Annual Jack’s Kids Softball Tournament

Press Release

Somerville Elks Lodge #1068’s 24th Annual Jack’s Kids Softball Tournament

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

kids heart

Play Ball! Yes, once again, on Saturday, July 9th at 8AM the first pitches will be heard throughout the fields of Somerset County honoring ALL of the Jack’s Kids children and their families.

The heart of Jack’s Kids is to ease the financial burden to families dealing with serious childhood illnesses and/or serious disabilities so they can focus on wrapping their family in the love and attention they need. Many of these children have spent most of their life in and out of hospitals. On Saturday, July 9th it will be all about FUN and honoring their strength and passion for life!

emily at bikeJack’s Kids is named in memory of Jack Gardner who had a prolific life throughout Somerset County. He grew up in North Plainfield, where he was an outstanding athlete in Football, Basketball, and Baseball.

Jack was a detective in the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office for many years. Later he became Warden of the Somerset County Jail. He was also a member of the Somerville Elks Lodge #1068.

Jack was a treasure. His main virtue was his willingness to help people. Anyone who came to Jack for help was assured that he would come through. Throughout Somerset County he is noted for helping many people, especially the younger generation. He was kind, thoughtful and always gave of himself.ben at bike

Jack’s Kids began in 1992 when Pierce Frauenheim and Jack Gardner had a friend whose child was diagnosed with cancer at the age of two. They saw the emotional turmoil this was taking on the family and wanted to help in some way, so they asked the Somerville Elks to host a softball tournament to raise money specifically for this family. It was a huge success and is still their largest annual fundraiser to this day.

Unfortunately, the following fall, Jack Gardner passed away and to honor all he had done they named the second tournament after him. Over the years the name was shortened and today we have “Jack’s Kids”.

Jack’s Kids has grown over the years and now helps over 30 families with their financial needs as they care for their children. They are a non-profit 501c3 organization under the Charitable Trust within the Somerville Elks Lodge. The volunteers that dedicate their time to this organization throughout the year truly are one of a kind. They pour their hearts into these families and truly believe their famous slogan…”It’s All About The Kids!”.

“These kids and their families are an inspiration to us all. We do this for them. We do it for the smiles we see on their faces and the joy they bring to us all.” said Hank Werner, Jack’s Kids Chairman. “These kids are the pure meaning of strength. Their struggles and sometimes pain are not the first thing you see. You see innocence and love. They teach us every day what selflessness means and what it truly means to give back. They come and help as they get older and share in the excitement of each other’s milestones.”.

This year their Honorary Chairman is New Jersey State Assemblyman, Jack Ciattarelli. “Honoring the memory of Jack Gardner by supporting this important annual fundraising event is a very special opportunity.  An amazing group of volunteers dedicated to helping families dealing with serious childhood illnesses and/or disabilities makes it all possible.  Whatever it is I can do to assist them is indeed an honor.” says Mr. Ciattarelli.

jessica at bike“Although this tournament is a wonderful way to share the day with these truly heroic families and kids, none of it would be possible without the outstanding and generous support from our Softball Teams who come every year, the amazing umpires and other people who volunteer their time that day, the amazing restaurants who donate enough food to feed over 5000 people, and our sponsors and business owners who donate money and gifts.” Says Lisa Werner Treasurer. Lisa also coordinates the 54 teams and over 30 umpires for the day. “It is a daunting but very rewarding task. Without them we could not help Jack’s Kids and their families.  It is hard enough watching your child hurt and not be able to help. To worry about finances on top of that is even worse. The bills build and we are here to help chip away at that. It’s the least we can do for them. ” Lisa said.  “Every year we have a larger impact on these families as well as our community. We are blessed and honored to be a part of it.”.


The day starts at 8AM on the fields throughout Somerset County with the first pitches done at each field with Jack’s Kids all present at the fields. The teams all play throughout the morning and into the afternoon while all the volunteers pick up food, set up the lodge and get ready for the day’s events. The teams then return to the lodge for Opening Ceremonies at 2PM. Following the opening ceremonies, the winning teams are all presented with their trophies and we get a chance to meet all of these amazing children to whom the day is all about.

The Tour of Somerville will also have representatives there to present Jack’s Kids a check as they were the beneficiary of this year’s historic Tour of Somerville Cycling Series which is held every Memorial Day. “We were honored to find out they had chosen us this year!” Said Hank Werner. “It is a great to see one non-profit give to another.”.

 More information on the day can be found on their website at You can also volunteer your time and donate to this great cause! All of the Jack’s Kids hope to see you there that day!



Sponsoring Jack’s Kids can go a long way!






2016 sponsorship flyer2016 sponsorship flyer_Page_1

3 Reasons To Sponsor Our Event

  • Raise awareness
  • Help support the many families in need due to their child’s illness
  • Your contribution qualifies as a tax deductible charitable donation 

Any amount is helpful and below are specific donation quantities that come with benefits!

  • $1500-Jacks Kids Sponsor
  • $750-Gold Sponsor
  • $500-Silver Sponsor
  • $250-Bronze Sponsor
  • $100-Friend of Jacks Kid Donor

See details and form here


Calling All Umpires!



Please contact us if you or someone you know call volunteer your day on July 9th
You do not need to be certified
Minimum age is 18
Umpires are to report to the lodge by 6AM on the 9th

Please sign up here or email Click here

The tournament is a big day and our signature event. This is the 24th year with 23 years of success and getting bigger every year, as well as the amount of recipients.
Sponsors, teams, raffles, 50/50, food donations and a lot of volunteers is what makes these events successful.

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Thank you for sharing!


Jack’s Kids Fundraiser Events

Individual Jack’s Kids Fundraiser Events coming up!

Please share and help spread awareness to others.

  • Chloe Grace Viana – SAVOR Restaurant Fundraiser
    NOW until May 31, 2016 11:30AM-10:00PM
    Bring in this FLYER and 20% of your food bill will be donated to the Viana Family to offset medical bills.
    Savor restaurant
    18 West Main St., Somerville
  • Ray Fantel – SMASH SMA! with Brunswick Martial Arts Fitness- $69.00 – Ray’s event Flyer
    His family needs the community’s help to raise money for a new power chair for Ray.
    For more information please contact:
  • Chloe Grace Viana – Join professional dancer Brittney Gallagher for a fundraiser Master Class at Starstruck Dance Studio
    May 7, 2016
    Age 6-10 1pm-2pm, Ages 11+ 2:30pm-3:30pm
  • Legs for Landon Doychak – Meet 2 NJ Devils Stephen Gionta and Jon Merrill – Landon’s event flyer
    May 15, 2016
    $40 combo ticket and photo opp
    His family needs the community’s help to raise money for a power chair for Landon.
    For more information please contact:




  • BBQ and Poker Run for Billy Biviano – Billy’s event flyer
    May 22, 2016
    Adults $25 / Children $10
    His family needs the community’s help to raise money for medical bills
    Entertainment, Door Prizes, Tricky Tray, All you can eat BBQ
    Fun for All!
    Manville-Hillsborough Elks
    1500 Brooks Blvd., Hillsborough
  • Poker Run for Ben Falcone – Facebook Event Click Here Run for Ben flyer
    June 26, 2016
    $20 Per Person
    His family needs the community’s help to raise money for the catastrophic medical bills
    Run starts and ends at the Somerville Elks
    375 Union Ave., Bridgewater
    For More Information Contact
    Phil 908.458.6102 or Addie 908.334.6120
    All are welcome
  • Chloe Grace Viana – “Kisses for Chloe” Royal Gala Benefit – Royal Gala flyer
    August 7, 2016 3PM-6PM
    $20 Adult/$15 Child
    All proceeds will be donated to Chloe’s family to offset medical costs. 

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Events that will benefit all of our Jack’s Kids!
It’s All About The Kids!

Tour of SomervilleFacebook Event Click Here
Memorial Day- Monday May 30, 2016 

Tens of thousands of people from all over the nation converge on the tree-lined streets of Somerville to cheer the cyclists as they race past Victorian homes and main street storefronts in the borough’s downtown district. Free admission encourages everyone to stroll the streets enjoying the food, kids’ activities, live music, and entertainment.
The Tour of Somerville Cycling Series is an exciting cycling event, attracting over 600 professional and amateur cyclists, including our nation’s top cyclists. The professional competitors in Monday’s feature race average speeds up to 40 mph in an exciting 50-mile race.

But this event is more than just thrilling races; it’s a community event. They honor American heroes as part of this special Memorial Day tribute. Proceeds from the event benefit Jack’s Kids, a Somerville Elks initiative that provides financial assistance to the families of children with cancer and other childhood illnesses.  The event is entirely run by volunteers, bringing people from all walks of life together for one purpose.


softballThe 24th Annual Jack Gardner Softball TournamentFacebook event click here
July 9, 2016