Normal political fundraisers feature people in suits sipping wine and snacking on crab puffs and crudites before diving into a plate of rubber chicken. On Saturday afternoon, a political fundraiser featured something a bit different, supporters in bright orange t-shirts cheering, kicking and eating pizza and wraps.
Republican Keith Loughlin, who is challenging Democratic Councilman Tom Bigosinski in the fourth ward, hosted a fundraising kickball party at Unami Park on the Westfield, Cranford and Garwood line. Featuring a "Westfield versus the world" game, Loughlin said he wanted to host a family-friendly fundraiser that was a bit different from the traditional political fare.
"I thought this would be a family event," he said. "It would involve family and it would be a little different. I like kickball."
A rivalry broke out between the two teams in playing the traditional elementary school game. The teams were broken down between Westfield residents and non-Westfielders who attended, with the non-Westfield team winning a one-point victory to claim the first Loughlin trophy. Fourth Ward Councilman Jim Foerst and Third Ward Councilman Mark Ciarrocca both jumped into the game, while Mayor Andy Skibitsky performed umpire duties from the sidelines. Elected officials from Garwood and Roselle Park attended, along with members of the county Republican glitterati.
"It's a great event," said Garwood Councilman Anthony Sytko, a Republican nominee for county freeholder. "We are lucky the weather held out. It's going to be a lot of fun with Westfield versus the world. I am excited to help Keith out in his council race."