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Swinging for a cause

Swinging for a cause

Mission 500

My son and I got up early on Saturday morning, but we didn’t mind at all.

We got in the car and drove from New York City to New Jersey, and although getting to the George Washington Bridge was practically a crawl thanks to weekend construction, we were stoked to reach our ultimate destination – the Mission 500 annual softball game.

For those who are unfamiliar with Mission 500, the nonprofit organization’s goal is to work together with the security industry to support underprivileged children across the United States through fundraisers such as softball, golf, cornholing, care pack and backpack building, Amazon purchases, donations and so much more. In essence, it’s the security industry coming together to help children and communities in crisis across the country.

On Saturday, it was “Play Ball!” as Janet Fenner’s Security Sluggers squared off against Tracy Larson’s Protection Pirates for industry bragging rights, but more importantly, to raise funds for kids in need.

Before the game got under way, 250 backpacks were filled with school supplies for students at a Title 1 school in Hoboken, N.J. Hudson County Commissioner Anthony Romano, who thew out the ceremonial first pitch at the softball game, personally delivered those backpacks to students to support families who struggle just to make ends meet, let alone purchase school supplies.

As far as the game itself, it was seven innings of back-and-forth action, “trash talking” between Janet and Tracy, and most of all, loads of fun.

Security professionals such as Marc Berman of Dahua Technology, David Furcayg of Ruben & Company, Matt Gyulay of ScanSource, Jules Nieves of CTCI Technology, Michael Glasser of Glasser Security Group, and Defined Marketing’s Greg Dabice - Janet’s husband who PITCHED AGAINST his own wife’s team - hit the diamond for what turned out to be a competitive game on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Heck, I even took the field to play, and although I may not be known for my athletic achievements - 0-for-3 with two groundouts, which I’ll take because I actually made contact – I knew I was enjoying myself and feeling a sense of pride knowing who myself and all security pros on the field were playing for, the children.

Speaking of children, kudos to my 12-year-old son Ethan, who caught all seven innings for the Sluggers (and felt it in his knees afterwards) and smacked an RBI double in his first at-bat, which made his father proud. In fact, he was recruited to play on Tracy’s team for next year’s softball game (Sorry, Janet).

In case you were wondering, Tracy’s Pirates edged Janet’s Sluggers, 13-12, but in the grand scheme of things, we were all winners.

Saturday's softball game raised more than $22,000 for the New York Fire Department Burn Camp, in addition to the backpacks that were delivered to the school in Hoboken. We at Security Systems News, along with our parent company, VGM & Associates, were among the proud sponsors for the Mission 500 softball game!

A big thank you to Janet, Tracy and all the volunteers who put together a great fundraiser for a great cause! 

I can’t wait for the next Mission 500 event. Thankfully, I don’t have to wait too long as the annual golf outing is less than two weeks away, Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Metuchen Golf & Country Club in Metuchen, N.J.

Hope to see everyone in a couple of weeks. Remember, it’s all about the children.


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