Port-Jervis Delaware Valley (Pa.) set for Wounded Warriors benefit

Port Jervis catcher Mia Gentile’s father, Martin, serves as her hero and role-model.

Martin Gentile is a former Marine sniper, according to his daughter, and she has always been inspired by his work ethic.

Gentile’s admiration for her dad prompted her to ask Port Jervis softball coach John Faggione to play a benefit game this season against rival Delaware Valley (Pa.) for the Wounded Warriors Project (WWP). The teams’ have played and donated money to different causes over the past two seasons.

“(Fagg)ione ran with it,” Gentile, a senior, said. “I’m so excited.”

Port Jervis and Delaware Valley meet at 1:30 p.m. on April 19 in a benefit at Airport Park in Matamoras, Pa. with all proceeds going to WWP. WWP is a non-profit veterans service organization that offers a variety of programs, services and events for wounded veterans of the military.

“My dad is my hero because everything he does is 100 percent,” said Gentile. Her dad was never wounded during his service as a Marine in the mid-1990s. “The military is something he loved and I love softball. So I figured we would put it together. I’m ecstatic and proud to be able to play for Wounded Warriors. We need to make them a priority.”

Last year, Delaware Valley and Port Jervis played a game to raise money to benefit the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the United States. There is no cure. Faggione’s dad, James, battled Parkinson’s disease for several years before dying in 1999 at the age of 55.

Delaware Valley coach Angelo Matz’s mother-in-law, Helen Gray, died three years ago at age 85 after battling Parkinson’s. In 2012, Delaware Valley and Port Jervis raised money for cancer research.

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