March 25, 2014
Shane Skeary, bobcats.com
Charlotte Bobcats executives, players and staff were on hand March 25 to participate in the Military Care Event presented by Wells Fargo and Family Dollar at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Wells Fargo Senior Vice President of Community Affairs, Jay Everette, explained how the partnership with the Bobcats and Family Dollar came together for this event.
“When we started talking with the Bobcats about what our areas of focus were in the community, it aligned perfectly,” Everette said. “Wells Fargo has really enjoyed the partnership with the Bobcats and Family Dollar for this event.”
Bobcats staff, along with 400 volunteers from Family Dollar and Wells Fargo unloaded trucks packed with 140,000 donated items from supplying partners and spent hours arranging the items on tables on the main floor of the arena.
Family Dollar Chief Merchandising Officer Jason Reiser was humbled by what he saw and said the event emphasized the need to support the troops.
“They’re silently protecting us each and every day and it’s often easy to forget about,” Reiser said. “An event like this brings it to life, and I don’t think there is a better cause to support our troops.”
The Bobcats coaching staff, players and executives assisted in creating 10,000 care packages for soldiers overseas composed of items varying from Gatorade packets to sunscreen. A friendly competition even ensued to see which assembly line could produce the most packages for the troops.
Bobcats Sports and Entertainment President and Chief Operating Officer Fred Whitfield was pleased to see excitement and enthusiasm for the cause from all involved.
“It’s a great day for these organizations,” Whitfield said. “Its is fun and enlightening to see the smiles on the faces of the players, coaches and volunteers.”
The Military Service Event also had a station where participants could write letters to soldiers all over the world to express their gratitude and show their support. Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson took part in the station and said the event made giving back to the troops more personal.
“I wrote messages telling them to stay strong,” Henderson said. “They’re over there putting their lives on the line. We just appreciate everything that they do.”
After all the items were packed, the Bobcats shipped the care packages to their official moving partner, Operation Gratitude, who will then ship the packages to U.S. troops in the Middle East, as well as ships in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean.