MARLBORO — The James Volpe Foundation Golf Classic is heading toward its sixth annual tee time next month, but the fundraiser in memory of a Jackson teenager who tragically died in 2011 will have a new address this year.

Instead of Pine Barrens Golf Club in Jackson, the 2017 event will take place Monday, June 26, at Bella Vista Country Club in Marlboro. The reasons for the change, said foundation vice president and co-chairman John Mucia, are not only to give golfers a change of scenery and different course challenges, but also to grow the group's fundraising base from Ocean into neighboring Monmouth County.

"This is going to be our first event being held outside of Ocean County," Mucia said. "We think that we'd like to expand our foundation to other audiences, and try and get other people to know what we're all about and what we do for the community."

Registration to play a round of golf will remain open until participation is capped at 120 people, so Mucia wanted to get the word out early this year in case signups have to be closed ahead of schedule. However, for those who can't or don't want to spend the day on the course, a buffet dinner will also follow, providing a networking opportunity.

Volpe was a senior at Jackson Memorial High School when he was killed in a car crash in Manchester in 2011. The organization that now bears his name also holds a dinner dance and its flagship event, a summer wiffle ball tournament, during a typical year. The group awards yearly scholarships to seniors at both high schools in Jackson Township.

"I can't stress enough how much our foundation's members really, really appreciate all the love and support, and the thousands and thousands of dollars that have been donated over the past six years to keep James' memory alive," Mucia said.

In addition to the scholarships, the golf gathering will specifically offer several other prizes for its players: a closest-to-the-pin award, a $1,200 social membership to Bella Vista, and a car if someone hits a hole-in-one.

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Check out our previous coverage of the Volpe Foundation's annual golf outing — 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

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