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A Wonderful Life: A Tribute To Steve Kalafer Set For Friday, June 11th 

May 26, 2021

Bridgewater, NJ – The Kalafer family and the Somerset Patriots have announced that “A Wonderful Life: A Tribute To Steve Kalafer” will take place at TD Bank Ballpark on Friday, June 11th at 7:15 pm. Gates open at 6:00 pm. “My father was an incredible man who touched so many

Bridgewater, NJ – The Kalafer family and the Somerset Patriots have announced that “A Wonderful Life: A Tribute To Steve Kalafer” will take place at TD Bank Ballpark on Friday, June 11th at 7:15 pm. Gates open at 6:00 pm.

“My father was an incredible man who touched so many lives,” said Jonathan Kalafer. “The outpouring of love and respect we have seen since his passing has been overwhelming and greatly appreciated by our family. We wanted to give everyone the chance to celebrate his life with us at one of his favorite places in the world.”

The event will be a celebration of Kalafer’s life, highlighting his love of family, business, and community. The scheduled hour-long ceremony will include speakers, video presentations, and special performances.

At the conclusion of the event, there will be a fireworks show accompanied by a scoreboard slideshow and a playlist of some of Kalafer’s favorite songs.

“It was important for our family to first take the time to grieve the incredible loss of a great husband, father, and grandfather,” said Josh Kalafer. “This event at the ballpark will allow for everyone who has been impacted in some way, no matter how large or small, to celebrate a life well lived.”

There will be tickets for the event in order for the team to be able to control the number of people entering TD Bank Ballpark. The tickets will be free of charge and are limited to six per person. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS!

Kalafer lost his battle with cancer on April 21st surrounded by his beloved family at the age of 71. He was highly regarded as a giant in New Jersey business, the car industry, real estate development, the arts, and the sport of baseball.

Kalafer was born on August 1, 1949 in Essex County and raised in North Caldwell. He created a business empire when he turned a one-car showroom in Frenchtown into one of the most respected and successful franchises in the United States for 40-plus years. Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of Brands, Clinton Honda, and Jaguar Land Rover Princeton became the go-to place for car buyers and a staple in the community.

In the mid-1990’s, Kalafer had the vision of bringing professional baseball to Somerset County. His dream came to life when the Somerset Patriots played their first home game in June of 1999. Under his guidance, the Patriots went on to change the landscape of professional baseball in New Jersey and impact the perception of “indy ball” across the country. The club built a reputation of winning on and off the field that ultimately led to the team becoming the New York Yankees Double-A affiliate beginning in 2021.

“Steve was that once in a generation-type of person you usually only hear about. The difference was that he was always there, accessible, and a part of so many things that happened every day around us,” said Patriots President/General Manager Patrick McVerry. “He treated everyone with respect, and in turn, everyone respected him. There isn’t a ballpark big enough to accommodate how many people’s lives he changed that would want to honor him and simply say ‘thank you.’”

He was giving of his name, time, and wealth. Kalafer was the Chairman Emeritus of the Somerset Health Care Foundation and served on the Board of Directors of RWJBarnabas Health. He was also a trustee on the board of New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance, a Co-Chair of the Chairman’s Council of The Actors Fund of America, and a trustee of the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation.

A lifetime of achievements as an entrepreneur and philanthropist in the state made him an easy choice for induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame as a member of the 2020 Class.

Kalafer's philosophy of life was engraved on the back of commemorative coins he loved to give out and will be available to guests during the ballpark remembrance event:

  • Be kind
  • Be fair
  • Work hard
  • Earn money
  • Do good *

The rain date for the event is Thursday, June 24th.

About the Somerset Patriots

The Somerset Patriots are the New York Yankees Double-A Affiliate and develop today’s top minor league talent into the pinstriped superstars of tomorrow for MLB’s winningest team. The Patriots compete in the Double-A Northeast League and play their home games at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ, where fans of all ages and levels of baseball fandom get to enjoy the unique experience that is minor league baseball. To learn more, visit: www.somersetpatriots.com__.