Story: Susan Murphy | Photos: Kim Levin Photography
The Borough of Little Silver came together to show their support for 20-month-old Lily Ince at a fundraising softball tournament held on September 16, 2017 at the Borough and Library fields. Lily was diagnosed with High Risk Neuroblastoma only a few weeks after her parents James and Lindsey (Thompson) Ince welcomed their second daughter, Arabelle. Lily’s mother Lindsey, who was born and raised in Little Silver, is a second grade teacher at Point Road School. John Thompson, Lily’s grandfather, is a member of one of the six Little Silver Men’s Softball Teams that played in the tournament.
Little Silver Recreation Director Douglas Glassmacher explained, “The tournament is an annual fall event for Little Silver Recreation which started in 2000. There are six Little Silver Men’s Softball teams and they play one afternoon tournament. The beneficiary of the tournament is different each year.” This year was for Lily. “Families who were recipients in past years joined us this year in support of Lily.” He noted that the teams were all very generous with their donations. Glassmacher organized the event with the help of Chef Peter Roskowinski, the culinary instructor at Red Bank Regional High School who cooked the food for the event, as well as Tom O’Hare, a member of one of the softball teams. “Jack Guttenplan, who donated the rolls for the event, along with John Thompson, Tom O’Hare, and myself are members of the host team, known as Little Silver Dough Boyz,” added Glassmacher.
In the event’s opening ceremony, Lindsey Ince threw the first pitch and her father John Thompson caught it. The National Anthem and God Bless America were sung by 10 members of the Markham Place Chorus led by Chorus teacher Stephanie Bennett. Mayor Robert Neff thanked the community for their support. Immediately following was The Battle of the Little Silver Schools with staff members from Point Road and Markham Place Schools playing against one another. “It was a very spirited battle,” said Glassmacher. He noted that the Point Road Team was co-coached by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carolyn Kossack and Principal Dr. Pamela Albert Devine. The Markham Place Team was coached by Principal Eric Platt. Several rounds of the Men’s Softball games followed.
Aside from the donation to enter the event, there were also suggested donations for the merchandise and food. “People were more than generous with their donations, and with sponsorships taken by local businesses and families,” said Glassmacher. “The event was well-attended. The kids wore their school colors, had their faces painted and everyone cheered for their school during the Battle of the Little Silver Schools. We were also thankful to the Little Silver PTO who played a major part in helping promote and sell Love4Lily merchandise. The PTO and the teachers stayed with the kids during activities such as face painting, tattoos, and fingernail decorating.” He added that the event was completely supported by the Mayor and Council who are always there for community and recreation events.
Lily, a happy fun-loving toddler, has an amazing positive spirit that is infectious to all who meet her. Following several intense treatments at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), she is now home, according to Glassmacher. “Lily had her surgery, her appetite is back, and she is doing well. She’s a spirited little girl who now is a protective big sister to her baby sister Arabelle. Lily has even attended our games with her parents and her grandparents John and Claire Thompson.” Glassmacher emphasized that donations are still being accepted at www.GoFundMe.com/loveforlilyj. Just be certain to put the “j” after lily as there is another fund listing for a Lily.