ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO WELCOMES MIAMI DOLPHINS TIGHT END FASANO TO ESSEX COUNTY VERONA PARK Athlete Organizes Volunteers to Modernize Bocce Courts So Charitable Bocce Tournament Can Relocate to His Hometown
Verona, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. welcomed Miami Dolphins Tight End and Verona native Anthony Fasano to Essex County Verona Park on Saturday, July 14th for the professional athlete’s 4th Annual Anthony Fasano Bocce Bash. This is the first time the charity event has been held in Essex County Verona Park and was made possible after Fasano organized a volunteer campaign to modernize the park’s facilities with four new bocce courts.
“In Essex County, Anthony has been a star on and off the field. When he’s not catching touchdowns, he’s giving back to the community by supporting programs for children with autism and bringing food and necessary supplies to needy families. He’s a role model for the community,” DiVincenzo said. “We are proud to have partnered with Anthony to replace two existing bocce courts with four new ones, which allowed Anthony to bring his tournament to Verona Park. It’s a great addition that the public will enjoy,” he added. The County Executive noted that he will name the bocce courts in Essex County Verona Park in Fasano’s honor because of his considerable donation to expand and modernize the facility.
“I want to thank my family, friends, contractors and others who donated their time, hard work and supplies to build the four new bocce courts and Joe D and his team for partnering with us so we could bring my bocce tournament home to Verona Park where it belongs,” Fasano said. “In addition to the great sense of pride for my family and friends involved in this project, the bocce courts serve as a symbol for the great things that are possible through community volunteerism. It’s been a wonderful experience working with everyone to get this done, and I plan on returning every summer to host my Bocce Bash right here,” he added.
For the past three years, Fasano hosted the Annual Bocce Bash in Montville, NJ, because the park there has four bocce courts and can accommodate the tournament. Earlier this year, Fasano and his representative Pat Capra, approached the County Executive with the idea to replace the two existing bocce courts with four new ones. Doubling the number of bocce courts in Essex County Verona Park enabled Fasano to relocate his tournament to Verona Park.
Essex County crews performed the construction work to remove the old bocce courts and grade the site and, when construction was completed, installed new park benches, bleacher seating and new landscaping. A team of volunteer contractors, family members and friends constructed the new bocce courts over the course of about two weeks in early July, completing in time for the bocce tournament. Fasano thanked the County Executive for helping the project move forward as well as the following contractors and friends: Carl Lombardi Construction, Kaslander Lumber, Yard Work Landscaping, Gary Mercadante, G Lombardi Pavers, Nevolis Contractor, Bo Battista, Pat Capra, Brett D’Alessandro, Coleen D’Alessandro, JR D’Alessandro, Greg D’Alessandro Sr., Greg D’Alessandro Jr., Ray DeCarlo, Jerry DeLuca, Steve DiGeronimo, Ken Dinolfo, Michael Fasano, Phil Ladato, Carl Lombardi, Bobby Lombardi, Richie Lombardi, Rich Mattesky, Ryan Mattesky, Gary Mercadante, Bill Montick, Drew Nevolis, Adrian O’Connell and Mark Panecki.
Proceeds from the Bocce Bash help support holiday food and toy drives for families in need. The Anthony Fasano Foundation, a 501(C)3 organization, also runs an annual golf outing that raises money and awareness for REED Academy, a school for children and young adults ages 3 to 21 with autism. During the last three years, Fasano also has partnered with DiVincenzo, Feed Our Children and several local non-profit social service agencies to distribute food and personal care items to families in need.