June 21, 2018
By: Leah Kocse
Another great turnout as family and friends of Justin Sheftel gather to raise more than $45,000.00 for local charities!
For years now, we've been covering the annual Justin Sheftel Memorial Softball Tournament, and I have to say that I am amazed and inspired at how much it's grown through the years. The tournament began back in 2005, after Justin's life was tragically cut short by a drunk driver in Ocean City Maryland, where he was celebrating his recent graduation from parkland high school with friends... Just 3 weeks after that horrible day, his family and friends came together to hold the the very first Justin Sheftel Memorial Softball Tournament- reminding people of the dangers of drunk driving while raising money to help 2 parkland grads with a college scholarship. Just this past weekend those same friends and family gathered for the 14th year, and with the help of sponsors like:
Service Electric Cable T.V. Inc.,
they raised more than $45,000.00 for several different charities throughout the Lehigh Valley:
Community Bike Works
- teaching life lessons through bicycles to the young people of Allentown and the L.V. who could benefit most.
The Allentown Drive
- bringing organized baseball programs back to the Allentown School District middle schools.
Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County
- helping seniors and adults with disabilities live nourished lives in their own hopes for as long as possible.
The Five Star Heart Project Corporation
- building youth leaders of character on and off the football field.
The Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley- providing camp scholarships for children.
Pratyush Sinha Foundation
- offering 225 children an 8 week program of yoga/ mindfulness education.
The Miracle League of the Lehigh Valley
- an all-inclusive baseball program for individuals with special needs.
The Parkland School District Education
- promote, enhance, and supplement the educational and co-curricular programs for the benefits of students and staff in the district.
I spoke with Justin's mom and sister about what they think he would say about all of this. They giggled, describing Justin as the shy type, and said "he would probably ask why they were doing all this". I think the answer to that is pretty clear. Justin seemed to have touched a lot of lives, that's evident by the hundreds of friends and family that continue to come together every year, and they do this because of him!