‘Miles For Matlosz’ Remembers Fallen Lakewood Officers [AUDIO]
The name Christopher Matlosz instantly resonates with many New Jerseyans, and people across the country for that matter because his story garnered such national attention. Tomorrow, a charity named for him holds a second annual event to remember fallen officers in Lakewood, such as Matlosz.
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Matlosz was shot in January of 2011 by now-convicted killer, Jahmell Crockam, while patrolling a neighborhood in Lakewood. The incident sent shock-waves through the community and the state. It was an incident that also triggered an idea for the charity event by Frank Mattioli, event director.
"I grew up in Lakewood and have a lot of friends on the department," Mattioli explained, "Just thinking back to that day when that occurred, they didn't give any names. It could have been any man or woman on the force that day."
The event is "Miles For Matlosz," which is a 5 mile run where Mattioli says the goal is "to memorialize the passing of the Lakewood police officers, Matlosz, Preslar, and Richter, who all died in the line of duty."
Patrolman William Preslar passed away in 2007 during a car accident while on duty. Patrolman Hartley Richter was also killed in a motor vehicle, back in 1947, while trying to stop a car.
In 2011, the first "Miles For Matlosz" raised $11,000 profit with about 250 runners participating. All of the money raised goes directly to the Lakewood PBA Local 71.
"The raising money part is great, but at the end of the day, we just want to make sure that we let them know, everyone in Lakewood, that we appreciate them and that we are there to support them," Mattioli said.
He says that the support of local businesses and the community has made the event possible. Senator Robert Singer, who will make the Presentation of Honor at tomorrow's event, has been particularly essential to the event planning.
About 500 runners are expected for this year's event, which begins Tuesday, July 3rd at 5:30 PM with check-in. Full event details and registration information available here.
Mattioli had actually expected a bit of a drop-off in participation and support, but that certainly did not take place.
"We really haven't seen a difference in support from last year, which we thought we would see," Mattioli said, "But everyone is still willing to support us in our cause"
More Good News
James Volpe Foundation
The James Volpe Foundation is a local non-profit charity that continues to raise funds for children facing financial hardships. Their mission is to support young members of the community reach their highest potential in education and sports through scholarships and other financial support that otherwise might not be afforded. The charity was formed by families and friends of Jackson resident James Volpe, who passed away in an automobile accident in 2011 when he was 18-years-old. James was a dedicated baseball player for most of his life. To learn more, go to their website.
Middlesex County Fair Association
New Jerseyans planning to visit the Middlesex County Fair in August will have a chance to give back to their community in a big way. The Middlesex County Fair Association will once again run its Charity Challenge, allowing eligible organizations to collect donations from the public during the fair's run. The organization that gets the most donations will win an additional $500. In 2011, the association distributed $28,000 in scholarships, grants, and donations to local high schools, first aid squads and fire departments. To learn more about this year's Charity Challenge, visit the website.