Last Thursday, in honor of Armed Forces Month and as part of our monthly Braves Care front office staff volunteer initiative, we welcomed members of the Wounded Warrior Project, a veteran service organization for wounded veterans, to Turner Field for the 3rd Annual Wounded Warrior Classic.
The Warriors arrived at the ballpark around 10 am for a VIP all-access tour of the Braves Museum, ballpark, press box and the Braves Clubhouse. At the conclusion of their tour, the Warriors were joined by our front office staff for a “ballpark meal” in our patio space behind home plate.
Following lunch, we led them down to the field to take batting practice from home plate! They couldn’t hit live batting practice on a Major League Baseball field without bats and gloves, so at that point we let the warriors know that everyone was going home with some new baseball equipment compliments of Mizuno Baseball.
Once they took the field, Braves alumni Greg McMichael, Jim Nash, Johnny Estrada, and Alejandro Pena joined the group as batting practice coaches for the Warriors.
Just like the pros, each Warrior had the chance to take about 10 swings from the tortoise shell. When they weren’t hitting, they were fielding balls with Braves staff in the outfield and mingling with alumni players.
The Braves alumni gladly signed autographs and took photos with the Warriors, and at the end of their visit, our special guests gathered by the Braves dugout for a group photo.
We are so thankful for their service and were equally excited to host another wonderful event for them this year! Each warrior and their family will be in attendance to watch the Braves take on the Miami Marlins this Saturday, May 27th in honor of Memorial Day weekend.
In honor of Armed Forces Month, Braves alumni and Hall of Famer Phil Niekro joined our front office staff at the USO of Georgia on Friday, May 6th.
The USO of Georgia is a private, nonprofit organization that provides morale, welfare and recreation services to military personnel and their families. They are open every day for soldiers who are passing through the airport to stop in and have a hot meal and a quiet place to regroup. Every Friday, the USO anticipates the arrival of a couple hundred brand new soldiers from Fort Benning in Columbus, GA headed to their next destination. These young men and women spend 14 weeks at basic training with little-to-no interaction with the outside world.
We spent our day preparing toiletry care packages for troops overseas, serving lunch to the soldiers that stopped by the USO facility for a little R&R, and welcoming new soldiers returning from basic training. Niekro enjoyed a Chick-fil-A sandwich with the troops while signing plenty of autographs and making tons of new friends. The USO even gifted Niekro with a special USO 75th Anniversary t-shirt!
What an amazing way to kick off our Armed Forces Month! Stay tuned for more exciting military appreciation activities this month.
Yesterday, the Braves Ticket Sales team visited the Atlanta Community Food Bank for their annual department-wide community service project. They helped sort and pack over 21,000 pounds of food which will provide over 16,000 meals to those in need throughout Braves Country.
This is just one of the many ways that our staff is committed to making a difference in our community. For more information about the Atlanta Community Food Bank, please visit http://www.acfb.org.
Happy National Volunteer Week from the Atlanta Braves! We are committed to making a difference in Braves Country and encourage you to go out and volunteer in your community! Enjoy the below photos of some of your favorite Braves players of yesterday and today along with our Braves front office staff giving back. #BravesGive
On Wednesday, April 6th, we hosted our final Leadoff Luncheon at Turner Field in the 755 Club. This exclusive event acts as one of the many fundraisers for the Atlanta Braves Foundation and allows fans and sponsors a chance to have lunch with a Braves player or coach from the Opening Day roster.
Braves Vice Chairman John Schuerholz welcomed everyone to the event, and Braves broadcasters Chip Caray, Joe Simpson, Jim Powell, and Don Sutton all facilitated round table discussions between the Braves newbies and veterans. New to the Braves, Tyler Flowers, Gordon Beckham, and Ender Inciarte sat on the Braves “Newbies” round table while Braves veteran players such as Freddie Freeman, Jason Grilli, Kelly Johnson and Jeff Franceour talked about their role in the clubhouse with the younger prospects on the Braves Veterans round table. This portion of the program gave all participants an inside look on what to expect out of their team this season. Participants also got to hear from Braves President of Baseball Operations John Hart and Manager Fredi Gonzalez.
The luncheon included a silent auction for participants to place bids on unique Atlanta Braves autographed memorabilia.
Overall, this was a very successful fundraiser for the Braves Foundation and a great way to kick off the 2016 Braves baseball season!
This school year, we partnered with Everybody Wins! Atlanta, a nonprofit on a mission to improve children’s literacy and develop the reading skills of students in low-income elementary schools. We joined their “Power Lunch” mentoring program at Brumby Elementary School, where we go into the school once a week to read to a child during their lunch hour. Braves staff has had a great time building long-lasting relationships with their mentees, and look forward to watching them build their reading skills throughout the year!
Last week, Braves staff members volunteered at the AG Rhodes Senior Health and Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta as part of a special St. Patrick’s Day Braves Care event. We played BINGO! with the residents, enjoyed St. Patty’s themed refreshments, and even sang karaoke.
After four rounds of BINGO!, we served “Shamrock Juice” (lime sherbet and Sprite) and four-leaf clover cookies to all of the residents. Each senior proudly wore their new Braves cap and green glow stick necklace/bracelet to get them in the St. Patty’s Day spirit. To close out the event, Braves staff took over the mic to sing a crowd favorite, “Shake, Rattle, and Roll,” for the group. What a fun way to spend our St. Patrick’s Day out in the community!
Do you know a brave person who has beaten or is fighting breast cancer?
Major League Baseball and the Atlanta Braves are looking for our 2016 Honorary Bat Girl. On Mother’s Day, we will honor one (1) Braves fan who has or is currently courageously battling breast cancer. The Honorary Bat Girl program raises awareness and funds while celebrating our heroic fans.
TODAY through April 14, submit a story about how you or someone you know is “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” and why they deserve to be the 2016 Atlanta Braves’ Honorary Bat Girl. Once you have submitted a story, encourage family and friends to vote!
One (1) Honorary Bat Girl will be selected and invited to Turner Field for a VIP experience on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 8, for the Braves vs. Arizona Diamondbacks 1:35 p.m. game.
The winner will receive four (4) game tickets, a Louisville Slugger pink engraved bat and a commemorative jersey.
To learn more, submit a story, and to vote, visit: http://www.honorarybatgirl.com.
As part of our commitment to honoring local military families, we hosted the 5th Annual Holiday Military Bowling Bash on Saturday, December 5th. More than 20 families from local military bases joined Braves coaches and alumni players for an afternoon of bowling, food, awesome raffle prizes and fun at Midtown Bowl.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, pitching coach Roger McDowell, first base coach Terry Pendleton, bullpen catcher Alan Butts along with Braves alumni Marty Perez, Jim Nash, and Johnny Estrada came out to spend some quality time with the military families, sign autographs, and spread holiday cheer.
Everyone received raffle tickets upon entry for the chance to win exciting prizes including Braves branded golf bags, autographed items and tickets to the upcoming season.
This event was a success thanks to the Braves front office staff and the Braves 400 Club members who volunteered their Saturday morning and helped distribute various prizes that were awarded throughout the afternoon.
This is one of the most rewarding events that we do each year because it allows us to thank the military service men and women, and their families for their dedication to our country. A special thanks goes out to Midtown Bowl for hosting us and providing lunch for everyone as well as to our Braves fans for the continued support of the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Braves Foundation, and the support of our military.
Happy HoliBRAVES from our Braves family to yours!
Braves staff served lunch to 100 men at the Shepherd’s Inn homeless shelter at the Atlanta Mission in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Shepherd’s Inn serves around 450 men every day, providing them hot meals, counseling, and a comfortable place to sleep.
Spending quality time with these men was an amazing way to kick off the season of giving! For more information about the Atlanta Mission and the Shepherd’s Inn, please visit http://www.atlantamission.org.