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RED BANK, NJ – This recent Black Friday marked the 17th Anniversary for the annual Little Silver versus Shrewsbury residents’ flag-football competition. The tradition was first played in 2002 and has grown into a very festive, well-attended community event. There were games for children, men, and women. Last year Fair Haven and Rumson families joined the fun and this year’s event featured a dynamic addition with games for four more new towns – Red Bank, Middletown, Oceanport and Monmouth Beach. The eight towns played exciting tournaments at various age divisions all day long on Black Friday.

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These hard-fought, touch football games were exciting for all of the players and spectators! Of course bragging rights are important if you ask any of the eight towns, but the true winner was Lunch Break and it’s clients. This year $15,000 was raised for the organization which will help put food on the table for thousands of families in need this holiday season. With this year’s donation, The Rivalry Series has now been able to raise over $50,000 for Lunch Break in just the last few years.

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Lunch Break has served the community since 1983 by freely providing life’s basic necessities - food, clothing, and fellowship - to community members in need. Its mission is to alleviate hunger and lead those they serve to self-sufficiency and healthier lifestyles. Lunch Break serves everyone, with compassion and dignity. The participants in The Rivalry Series really appreciate what Lunch Break does for the community. Many of the players and their families from this event volunteered the Saturday before and after Thanksgiving at Lunch Break serving warm meals to those in need while wearing their town jerseys.

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This football event has its playful trash-talking, but it is truly a culmination of the friendships that are a part of the eight-town family in Monmouth County. Prior to Thanksgiving, The Downtown in Red Bank hosted The Rivalry Series Kickoff Party and following the football games on Black Friday, all of the players and their families also enjoyed the annual After Party at Val’s Tavern in Rumson.

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Rick Brandt, the event coordinator talked about the day and said, “All of the good that exists in Little Silver, Shrewsbury, Fair Haven, Rumson, Red Bank, Oceanport, Middletown and Monmouth Beach is represented by this annual football tournament and it is our hope that through our efforts together, we can tackle hunger in our community.” Brandt, along with the other 300 players collectively raised $15,000 and a truck full of food and clothing for Lunch Break during The 2018 Rivalry Series. All of which, was presented to Gwen Love, Lunch Break’s Executive Director and John Klein, Lunch Break Board of Trustee President before the games began.

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Mayors, Principals, Superintendents, and various other dignitaries from all eight towns represented their communities during the pre-game coin tosses while fire, police and first aid trucks from the towns lined the sidelines with the hundreds of spectators who filled the park to watch the games. This event would not have been possible without generous sponsors and community members. To learn more about Lunch Break you can visit www.LunchBreak.org

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