RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Members of the Felician College baseball team thought they were simply participating in a team fundraiser when they reported to Applebee's of Clifton on the morning of October 10. But the Golden Falcon players came away from the event with a renewed respect both for food service professionals and for the life that awaits them in the "real world."
The fundraiser began in September, when team members received seven Applebee's tickets to sell to supporters. October 10 was redemption day, when Applebee's allowed the Felician players to work as servers and busboys before the restaurant opened to the general public.
"It was a good team-bonding experience," said junior catcher/first-baseman Mike Martone (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial). "Basically guys ended up serving their teammates' families, and in some cases, got to meet them for the first time. It also gave us all a chance to see what the real world will be like."
Martone's experience was echoed by another veteran player.
"(Restaurant employees) work hard at their jobs," said junior pitcher Drue Brooks (Spring Hill, Fla./Nature Coast Tech). "It was a good reminder to work hard at everything we do, both on and off the field."
Felician opens its 2016 season, the 17th in program history, with a five-game series at Hawai'i Pacific University on Feb. 19-21.
Felician College, the Franciscan College of New Jersey, is a liberal arts, coeducational Catholic college founded in 1942 and sponsored by the Felician Sisters. True to its mission, Felician College welcomes a diverse student population and embraces its educational needs. With campuses in Lodi and Rutherford, New Jersey, Felician College currently enrolls more than 2,100 students and offers more than 55 undergraduate and graduate programs, in the classroom and online, in the arts and sciences, business and management sciences, health sciences and teacher education. Felician College also sponsors 13 varsity intercollegiate sports that compete at the NCAA Division II and National Collegiate levels.