By Warren Rappleyea
Old Bridge High School boys lacrosse team — and the school itself — has rallied around the family of a player whose mother died unexpectedly in June.
Following the death of sophomore striker Justin Fox’s mother, head coach Andrew Boriello and his assistants — Andrew Amendola, Anthony Rybek, Adam Tivalol and Jim Phillips — sprung into action to create a GoFundMe site (www.gofundme.com/29rjxrv3) to help the family with its financial obligations.
“Our goal is to raise $25,000 and right now we’re a little of over the $20,000 mark,” Borriello said. “We wanted to do something to help and show that in Old Bridge, we don’t just offer condolences — we do things to help when people need it.”
The Knights’ lacrosse squad immediately got behind the effort, promoting it through email and on social media. Soon more and more students got involved.
Borriello said Fox’s mom was a regular at Old Bridge games and even came to the annual coaches vs. players scrimmage. The team has placed a sign in her honor under the tree where she watched the games.
The coach noted that Old Bridge as a school — and as a township — was merely living up to its designation as a National District of Character.
“This is a great town to teach in and live in,” Borriello said. “The people here really care about and support each other. It’s great to see. A lot of people have stepped up to help out. We’re still hoping to make it to $25,000.”
In May, the team hosted a “Play for a Purpose” fundraiser at its first round game in the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament to benefit two students who lost their homes in fires.
“It all started with the students,” Borriello said. “This is a town to be proud of.”