Four years after Jackson Memorial senior baseball player James Volpe tragically died in a car accident, the foundation created in his name by family and friends continues to raise money for various worthy causes in the local area.

The latest fund-raiser coming up is the third annual James Volpe Foundation Golf Classic on June 15 at Pine Barrens Golf Club in Jackson. Proceeds from past events have gone toward college scholarships for students, holiday gifts and food to families in need, support of the Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter at Jackson Memorial, support of Little League players from families in need, donations to Children's Specialized Hospital and more. The foundation also has given scholarships to students bound for Kean University, where Volpe was committed to attend before his death.

James Volpe's Jackson Memorial teammates remembered him in a special celebration in 2011 shortly after his death. The foundation that bears his name has its annual golf outing fund-raiser coming next month. (Photo by Bill Normile)

"Personally, it is an honor for me to just be associated with the James Volpe Foundation,'' said foundation present Rob Meleo, the father of former Jackson All-Shore outfielder Matt Meleo, a good friend of Volpe's who now plays at Kean. "It is an honor to do what we do in James' name, and to keep his name alive in such a positive manner is what the foundation is all about.  Anthony and Christine can unfortunately no longer 'parent' James in the traditional sense, so this foundation is an opportunity to continue to parent him, in a different, special way. It is important to all of us at James Volpe Foundation to do the right thing in James' name and to maintain the sterling reputation of the foundation."

Now that it has been almost exactly four years since Volpe's death on May 13, 2011, the primary challenge is continuing to keep the foundation strong even though the majority of the students at Jackson Memorial who knew him personally have all graduated.

The James Volpe Foundation has raised money for a host of worthy causes in local communities since Volpe's death in 2011. (Photo by Bill Normile)

"Tonight at our foundation meeting, when reviewing some of the high school scholarship essays, Anthony, James' dad, remarked how this was the first year several of the applicants remarked how they really didn't know James, or how he was a senior when they were freshmen,'' Meleo said. "It was really a stark reminder how it's been four long years since his untimely death.

"The foundation does fear that our fund-raising efforts will be more difficult with each passing year, and to a degree we have already experienced that. We have two major fund-raising events each year, the golf outing and the Wiffle ball and family day in August. From time to time we get a donation check sent to our P.O. box or a PayPal donation, but those have really decreased. We have some exceptional sponsors at our events, which really helps, and our committee members are outstanding.  No one who is part of the James Volpe Foundation gets paid a single cent, and we all do put in a fair share of time and effort to keep things going."

At next month's golf outing, there will be a shoot-out competition, closest-to-the-pin contest, awards presentations, silent gift auctions, raffles and more. The golf begins with registration at 10:30 a.m., followed by lunch and then a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. The field is limited to 120 golfers and last year's event sold out.

Entry fees are $200 per golfer, which includes a gift bag, lunch, 18 holes of golf, and dinner. There are also platinum ($1500), gold ($1000), silver ($500) and bronze ($250) sponsorships available for the outing, which entitles your company or business to opportunities such as a banner with your company's logo on the golf course.

Those who can't make it for the golf can still support the foundation by attending the all-you-can-eat buffet dinner at 5:30 p.m., which is $40 per seat. For more information on Sponsorships or to make golf or dinner reservations, please contact Linda Russo at: lirusso@optonline.net or (646) 436-0975 by June 12. Also visit the James Volpe Foundation website for additional information.