Team, Toyota Tip Off Season-Long 'Stars & Stripes' Initiative With Military Appreciation Night
PHILADELPHIA — NOV. 7, 2018 — The Philadelphia 76ers announced today details for the annual “Stars & Stripes” initiative in partnership with Toyota, tipping off with Military Appreciation Night on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. against the Charlotte Hornets. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a co-branded Toyota and 76ers rally towel.
The NBA, its teams and players, have a long history of collaborating with the military. The 76ers and Toyota’s fifth annual “Stars & Stripes” initiative enhances the NBA’s mission to honor military and their families, veteran-serving organizations and retired servicemen and women.
“We are very proud to continue our partnership with Toyota to recognize those who have served or currently serve in the United States Armed Forces,” said Amy Hever, Philadelphia 76ers Executive Director of Social Responsibility. “Military Appreciation Night is part of our season-long commitment to honor men and women who have demonstrated their commitment to service and made a positive difference in the lives of others.”
The 76ers will celebrate more than 1,000 active and retired servicemen and women during various recognitions throughout Military Appreciation Night, starting with the pregame recognition of the Alpha Bravo Canine Unit, a nonprofit organization that trains service dogs to help veterans with combat-related disabilities. The three new recruits that the organization recently accepted into the program will be presented with a pin on-court to commemorate the start of their journey to serving veterans. During the national anthem, 30 members of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst will hold a 1,700-square-foot American flag.
At halftime, the 76ers will hold a special jersey presentation for veterans from each of the last six major U.S. conflicts. The veterans will be presented customized 76ers jerseys by active members of the armed forces. The group features Private 1st Class Lena Daniels, who is a 100-year-old WWII veteran and one of the oldest Gold Star mothers in the country. Her son, SPC4 Francis Daniels, passed away during the Vietnam War.
The game will include the “Toyota Salute of the Game” recognition, honoring retired Captain and Iraq War veteran Patrick Murphy. Fans will also see 76ers coaches wearing commemorative “Stars & Stripes” lapel pins in honor of Military Appreciation Night.
As part of the night's tributes, Sixers ENT, featuring Sixers Dancers, Dunk Squad, presented by Dunkin' Donuts, and mascot Franklin, will wear military-themed outfits. On the concourse, 76ers fans will have the opportunity to write notes of encouragement and record video messages for active military. Fans will also see military vehicles parked outside The Center on game day.
The “Stars & Stripes” initiative continues on Tuesday, Nov. 20 when the 76ers and Toyota begin the holiday season with a Season of Giving event in partnership with Soldiers’ Angels, a non-profit dedicated to providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the armed forces. More than 200 volunteers, including 76ers players and coaches, members of the Toyota family and military will work together to package and distribute 2,000 holiday stockings, 2,000 hygiene kits and 1,000 boxed lunches to service members in Iraq, Afghanistan and veterans at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Philadelphia.
“We are honored to be able to support our military members and veterans. It is with great pride that we are able to join the Philadelphia 76ers on Military Appreciation Night to honor these brave men and women along with their families for the unbelievable sacrifices they make each and every day,” said Paul Muller, President of the Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association.