Bringing fun, excitement and entertainment to locals and fans alike, the Bordentown Township Police Department teamed up with teachers and principals from Peter Muschal Elementary School in a fundraising basketball game on Jan. 13 against the Harlem Wizards.
The interactive event held at Bordentown Regional High School generated more than $10,000, in which, according to school officials, approximately $6,000 will be allocated to the school’s Parent Teacher Association.
According to a member from the school’s PTA, the funds received from the event are aimed to support the school’s technology needs, wish-lists for teachers, school assemblies, field trip contributions, field day, teacher appreciation week, chorus concerts/recorders, books for classrooms, smart boards and mobile tech devices.
In pairing up with the Harlem Wizards organization to raise funds for the school, the team’s talented basketball players treat audiences to unique skills, teamwork, dribbling, alley-oops and slam dunks with a humorous, theatrical twist that focused on entertaining Bordentown locals.
Prior to tip-off against the Wizards, township police chief, Brian Pesce, said that the event served as an enjoyable way for his officers to engage with the public as well as aid local teachers and students.
“This is something the PTA reached out to us about and asked us if we wanted to participate, and these are things we really enjoy,” Pesce said. “It allows us the opportunity to interact with the community, have some fun and been seen in a different perspective.”
Alongside finding a new way to interact with the community through the event, Pesce noted that the most important aspect of the game was its intention to raise funds for the elementary school.
“[The money] goes right back into their PTA for them to invest it right back into the students, all the kid’s programs – all the incidentals that the school can’t cover,” he said. “We do events like this all the time that we can help out with and we support.”
As the school staff members and officers teamed up against the Wizards, they soon found themselves not only as friendly opponents, but also serving as participants in entertaining antics to the delight of the crowd.
The Wizards would occasionally stop gameplay to interact and engage with members from the crowd, who packed the high school gymnasium. Fans got to witness trick-shots from all over the court or in the stands, receive complimentary Wizards merchandise for their participation and see their fellow teachers and officers get dunked on.
For the police department’s school resource officer, Adam Edwards, the event served as a unique, memorable experience that also served the young students in the community as well.
“I get to work in the schools every day, so it’s a really nice way to interact with kids out of uniform,” Edwards said. “It’s something a little different. This is an once-in-a-lifetime chance to play against these guys and have a good time.”