Annual superhero event helps officers raise money for Special Olympics
ROSELLE PARK — It has now been a decade since a group of Union County corrections officers decided they wanted to raise money for Special Olympics New Jersey. Those officers marked a milestone in 2017 by being among the top 10 Special Olympics fundraisers in the state.
So it's a no-brainer for charity coordinator Peter Femia and his colleagues to bring back Heroes4Heroes, in which they all dress up as superheroes for the Law Enforcement Torch Run that precedes the opening ceremonies, for another year.
The start of their 2018 campaign is a costumed appearance on Friday at 7 p.m. at Frenchy's Bar & Grill in Roselle Park, with an eye on doing better than just cracking the top 10 in money raised.
"This year, we want to beat that goal," Femia said. "Every year, we want to go past that goal. So we're hoping that many people come out, enjoy themselves, have a great time for a great cause."
The Torch Run follows on Friday, June 8, leading up to the opening ceremonies of Special Olympics New Jersey's 2018 Summer Games at The College of New Jersey. Femia's group helps carry one of several torches that converge at TCNJ, starting from St. Georges Avenue in Elizabeth, near the Union County Jail.
"It's incredibly moving, it's incredibly inspiring watching all these Special Athletes do what they do," Femia said. "It's just something that's taken control of our heart. This is something we feel led to do, and we're going to continue to do it every year."
Femia dresses as Batman in the ensemble, also confirmed to include Superman, Spider-Man, The Hulk, Wonder Woman, Captain America, and Supergirl, among others. Those hoping to meet one of these superheroes at Frenchy's on May 25 will find there is no cover charge, free food from 12 local restaurants, and a live band.
Donations of any amount are welcome, and all money will go directly to Special Olympics New Jersey.