U.S. Steel Yard to host day to honor U.S. soldiers

Written by admin. Posted in Cover Story

Published on August 11, 2010 with No Comments

RailCats team up to honor veterans
By Carl Kurek

With the country engaged in two wars, chances are that nearly everyone knows at least one person who has been sent to one or both of these war zones.

Many people and organizations send care packages to these brave men and women and thank them for their service and sacrifice whenever they get the chance.

For citizens of Northwest Indiana who feel the urge to make a difference in the lives of those who have served our country, past or present, finding a way to do so can be as easy as pie.

Or at least as easy as baseball and beer.

The Gary SouthShore RailCats have teamed up with the Northwest Indiana Military Support Network and the American Red Cross to host the first ever “Home Runs for Heroes” event at U.S. Steel Yard located at One Stadium Plaza in Gary on Aug. 21.

“The purpose of the event is to have as many booths made available on the concourse which will have information on the different governmental services that are available to the veterans, military families and homeless veterans of Northwest Indiana,” Patty Kostro, manager of corporate sales for the RailCats, said.

The event is open to the public from 1:30-4:30 p.m., but individuals who have tickets for that night’s RailCats game against the Rockford Riverbanks can continue to take part in the event from that point on.

Over 2,000 people are expected to attend this event and the RailCats are working with local businesses and community members to allow military personnel the chance to attend the RailCats game free of charge.

One company has stepped up to the plate big time.

North Coast Distributing of Valparaiso, a family-owned beer wholesaler since 1939 that distributes over 150 brands of beer to retail partners throughout Northwest Indiana, has purchased 500 tickets that will be distributed to local veterans.

“They’re a great company,” Kostro said. “We are still looking for more sponsors to support this event though.”

The American Red Cross is the primary blood supplier to the entire U.S. military and the American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana located in Merrillville, has been serving the region since 1914.

“We’re finding that more and more of our veterans who are returning home are suffering from stress-related disorders. We want them to know there are services here to help them,” CEO of the American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana Gordon Johnson said.

“It’s not just our members of the armed forces who are sacrificing, it’s their families as well. We’re trying to provide them with a day to celebrate their service to our country. Just give them a day of fun,” he said.

Here is where the beer comes in.

Miller High Life, in partnership with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), is asking legal-drinking-age consumers to return specially marked Miller High Life and Miller High Life Light bottle caps or can tabs to help support their “Give a Veteran a Piece of the High Life” program.

Miller High Life will donate 10 cents for every specially marked cap and tab that they receive. The company said that the program will contribute up to $1 million in cash and experiences to help veterans enjoy some of life’s little luxuries.

These “little luxuries” could be anything from getting tickets to professional sporting events and concerts or VIP tours of popular sports venues, to fly fishing with a professional angler, meeting professional athletes or visiting the bullpen before a baseball game. Some veterans could even get the chance to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game.

The RailCats will serve as a drop off point for the bottle caps and can tabs, and anyone who brings a minimum of 12 caps or tabs to a RailCats game between Aug. 13 and Aug. 21, will receive a buy-one-get-one-free voucher for tickets to their Fan Appreciation game Sept. 2.

The IAVA, with offices in New York, NY and Washington, D.C., is the nation’s first and largest not-for-profit organization devoted to bettering the lives of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their families.

“IAVA empowers veterans and their families by giving them a place to connect and support one another,” IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff said. “Miller High Life’s ‘Give a Veteran a Piece of the High Life’ program gives new veterans a positive, memorable experience.”

Besides the RailCats stadium, bottle caps and can tabs can be returned at participating locations or by mailing them to Miller High Life Veterans Program, 3903 Portage Rd., Ste C # 140, South Bend, IN 46628-6192.

Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are IAVA members can register for “High Life” experiences in their hometown or find out more information about the organization by visiting www.iava.org. More information about the “Give a Veteran a Piece of the High Life” program can be found at www.millerhighlife.com.

For more information about the RailCats “Home Runs for Heroes” event or how you can help support the event, call Patty Kostro at 881-7235 or visit www.railcatsbaseball.com.

Share This Article

About admin

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on U.S. Steel Yard to host day to honor U.S. soldiers. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.