December 13, 2018. Our program featured the preview of the 2018 Jack Bennett Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament. Featured this year are boys and girls teams from Easton, Phillipsburg, Southern Lehigh, and Nazareth. Tournament Chair Lew Fish congratulated his Committee on their work this year and, of course, Jack Bennett was on hand. Jack has family members represented on at least two of the competing teams.
Representatives from each school introduced their captains and offered their thoughts on the upcoming season. Easton Coach Dave Lutz relayed his famous tale of a fateful 1993 trip to a Williamsport tournament that featured blizzard-like conditions and a resounding loss. His wish to never-again have to travel far was soon to be answered with the inaugural Rotary Tournament in 1995. Easton Boys Coach Ben Childs has a unique perspective having participated in the event as a player, assistant coach, and head coach. Coach Childs team is unique in that he has 3 Junior Captains and no Senior Captains. Phillipsburg Coach Jerry Lloyd's team has 8 Seniors.
Many of the coaches consider this to be the premier Tournament in the area. The Jack Bennett Classic is about more than basketball. The players are keenly aware that the event is designed to raise funds for worthwhile local causes. The Tournament has enabled Easton Rotary to distribute over $500,000 to local charities. The Easton teams are combining the event with their Milk and Cookies with Santa event where they collect toys and coats for children in the area.