BB PhotoManchester PBA 246 is pleased to announce that $2,500 was raised for a local high school scholarship during its fifth annual benefit basketball game versus school district staff on Friday, March 7.

The donations will benefit the Rodney Copeland Athletic Scholarship Fund, founded in memory of the Manchester Township High School coach who died in 2009 at age 44. Officer Chris Cerullo, who serves as the department’s School Resource Officer at MTHS, spearheaded the event this year for PBA 246.

“It was a great night for our community and I can’t thank everyone enough,” Cerullo said.

Copeland, a lifelong Manchester resident, worked for the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department in addition to coaching at MTHS. PBA 246 is proud to work with the school district to raise funds for Manchester students and thanks all who participated in the event.

“The PBA always likes to give back to the community, and this is one of the ways we can do that. It was a fun, competitive game,” said PBA 246 President Paul Bachovchin.

Led by MTHS Principal Dennis Adam, a former college basketball player, school district staff pulled off a two-point victory in the Hawk’s gym, 67-65.

In addition to Bachovchin and Cerullo, PBA players included Officers Christian Nazario, Patrick Cervenak, Jason Wiener, Keith Craig, Michael Anderson, Joseph Reilly, Robert Maccaquano, Daniel Wehrle, Michael Guarino, and Casey McPartlin. The team was coached by Capt. Lisa Parker and Ptl. Douglas Higgins. Members of the police department also attended to show their support and cheered on the players from the stands.

Photo: Manchester Township Police Officers from left to right: Officers Joseph Reilly, Christian Nazarop, Jason Wiener, Douglas Higgins, Paul Bachovchin, Robert Maccaquano, Michael Anderson, Casey McPartlin, Daniel Wehrle, Keith Craig, Michael Guarino, and Patrick Cervenak.