It was not a good season on the field for the Lakewood BlueClaws but the 34 home runs they hit at FirstEnergy Park provided some good news for 10 local charities that help military families and veterans.  

Townsquare Media

OceanFirst Foundation of Toms River presented $34,000 in grants to those charitable organizations during an on-field ceremony Monday to mark the end of this year’s Home Runs for Heroes Program.

It’s a joint effort between OceanFirst Foundation, the BlueClaws and WOBM and during the season each of the charities was matched with a designated inning and earned $1,000 every time a BlueClaws player hit a homer at FirstEnergy Park.

The big winners this season were Blue Star Mothers, Chariot Riders (Horses for Heroes) and the New Jersey National Guard State Family Readiness Council.  All three of those military-based organizations collected $6000 grants from OceanFirst Foundation Executive Director Kathy Durante on Monday. Not far behind was the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society/Lakehurst which earned $5,000.

Unlike a baseball game there were no losers as the foundation guarantees each participant at least $1,000 for the great work they do in providing emergency needs to local service men, women and veterans.  Also taking part in this year’s Home Runs for Heroes program were American Recreational Military Services, American Red Cross/Jersey Coast Chapter, Army Emergency Relief, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton (Emergency Services), Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund and Vet Group.

The $34,000 awarded this year brings the six-year total to $164,000 in donations made by OceanFirst Foundation through the Home Runs for Heroes program.

Representing the BlueClaws Monday was Director of Outside Sales Mike Ryan, who has been instrumental from the outset and is the grandson of a Battle of the Bulge veteran.  As the son of a Marine Corps veteran who served during both World War II and Korea I was happy to represent Townsquare Media, who will continue to partner with OceanFirst Foundation and the BlueClaws to support military men and women who do so much for us.


For more on the OceanFirst Foundation visit