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ALJ Softball Hosts Home Run Contest for Nicole Marzano Scholarship

ALJ Principal Rick Delmonaco had a huge day at the plate.

Members of the Arthur L. Johnson Softball team led by Head Coach Michael Mancino held the first “Home Runs for Nicole” fundraiser on May 16 to benefit the

Marzano graduated from ALJ in 2011 as the and was a freshman at the University of Delaware when she died while returning from a University of Delaware club soccer game. Marzano's parents Vincent and Francine

“The Johnson softball team was proud and honored to host Home Runs for Nicole," said Mancino. "All involved were treated to a fun night and the event was a real tribute to one of ALJ's finest alumni, Nicole Marzano.”

The fundraiser was a traditional home run contest, in which four teams tried to hit home runs, with the top two teams advancing to the finals. The teams were the ALJ faculty and administration, Johnson Softball alumni, and this year's ALJ baseball and softball teams. The finals came down to the faculty and administration facing the Crusader Softball team, and the Lady Crusaders defeated the faculty in an exciting exhibition of home run power. Although the Crusader Softball team was victorious, the highlight of the night may have been ALJ Principal Rick Delmonaco and his towering home run blasts. Delmonaco hit at least five lengthy homeruns, easily the farthest hit balls of the night, as he and the faculty put up a valiant fight.

More significant than the winners was the tremendous showing of unity as a community gathered to remember and pay tribute to Nicole Marzano and her family, in addition to honoring her memory with the Nicole Marzano Scholarship Fund, which will be given out each year to a deserving student.

“My hat is off to both Coach Mancino and the Lady Crusaders Softball team," said Gus Kalikas, Supervisor of Athletics, Health, and Physical Education at ALJ. "Although they continue to have a great season on the field, making the UCIAC semifinals, qualifying for the NJSIAA State Tournament, and vying for their second straight Divisional Championship, by far their greatest accomplishment this year was putting together this wonderful event in honor of Nicole Marzano. Once again, I am extremely proud of Crusader Athletics and what they do for the community.”

Missed the fundraiser? Donations can be made out to the Nicole C. Marzano Memorial Scholarship Fund, a 501(c)(3) designated fund, and can be sent to:

The Nicole C. Marzano Memorial Scholarship Fund
c/o Aldo Tripicchio
95 Westfield Avenue
Clark, NJ  07066    

Matt Casey May 21, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Its efforts and displays of caring like this that make me love living in our small town. It was great to see the huge amount of support and turnout of neighbors and friends at the Home Run Derby. Great job to all involved!!

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