Erie BayHawks coaches, Jay Larranaga and Ben McDonald, along with guard Jeremy Green and Clutch the mascot, visited patients at the Erie VA Medical Center today. They thanked the veterans for their service and handed out BayHawks hats to many of the patients.
The visit was part of the team’s “Salute Our Troops” campaign that will conclude on Friday night as the BayHawks, along with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), will honor current and retired service men and women.
“We are truly grateful for the sacrifices made by so many brave men and women that served our country,” said Larranaga. “Having the opportunity to say thank you to some of them today was a great experience for us.”
Several initiatives are planned to honor military personnel:
Current and retired military personnel receive free tickets to the March 9 game when they show their military ID or DD214 card at the Tullio Arena box office;
Fans can donate care package items at the March 9 game such as phone cards, gift cards, gum, batteries and hygiene products. A complete list of accepted items can be found at supportourtroops.org;
The BayHawks will wear commemorative military themed uniforms and the jerseys and shorts will be auctioned off via an online auction and bidding at the game on Friday night. Fans can begin placing bids now by visiting ErieBayHawks.afrogs.org. Bidding will remain open until 11 pm on March 9. All proceeds from the auction will fund care packages for troops serving overseas. Care packages will be assembled and shipped by LECOM students;
At halftime on Friday local veterans will present a POW / MIA “Remembrance and Fallen Hero Ceremony.” LECOM and the BayHawks will also present a special pre-game salute to each division of the armed forces;
“Coffee Cultures,” located at 5761 Peach Street, is offering a FREE cup of coffee with the purchase of a muffin to all military personnel and veterans with proper identification on Saturday, March 10, 2012.
All Main Level seats on March 9 are just five dollars for what is another Five Dollar Family Night. Fans can purchase tickets at Tullio Arena box office, 809 French Street, or by calling 814-452-4857.