Initiated in 2009 and now in its fifth campaign in NEPA, HOPE Week is rooted in the fundamental belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient of the gesture. Each day from Sunday, July 6 through Friday, July 11 members of the RailRiders front office staff or club will reach out personally to connect with an organization, cause or individual. 2014 marks the third straight year that each of the Yankees’ six U.S.-based affiliates will participate in the program, making the initiative one that the entire organization proudly stands behind.
HOPE Week begins with the RailRiders’ annual food drive on Sunday, July 6. Patrons are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the 7:05 p.m. contest against the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox) in exchange for one lawn seat in the NEPA Honda Homer Zone. SWB has partnered with the Voluntary Action Center which will distribute the collected items to agencies and food pantries around the region. The RailRiders will respond by honoring Voluntary Action Center’s ‘Volunteers of the Year’ with a pre-game ceremony on the field.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre coaches, players and front office staff will trek to the Gino Merli Veterans Center in Scranton on Monday, July 7 to participate in a full day of inspiring visits. The RailRiders will visit residents in their rooms and see who has the best stuff in some games of Wii baseball. The visit includes a social filled with baseball-themed snacks.
Fortune favors the bald? We will find out on Tuesday, July 8 when the RailRiders join the Vs. Cancer Foundation with a night at PNC Field committed to raising money for childhood cancer research. Half of the funds raised will be donated to the National Childhood Cancer Research Foundation and the other half will be donated locally. RailRiders players and front office staff will shave their heads during and after the game to help raise awareness. A number of names are scheduled to participate including RHP Danny Burawa, SHP Pat Venditte, C Francisco Arcia and team president/GM Rob Crain. The RailRiders have set a team goal of $10,000 for the event.
On Wednesday, July 9, Children’s Miracle Network kids and their families will journey into the RailRiders’ home clubhouse for a personal meet-and-greet with players before the game.
The RailRiders head to the NEPA Boys and Girls Club on Thursday, July 10. SWB has partnered with Combined Forces Mobile Laser Tag for the fun and excitement of laser tag. The event includes inflatable barricades, walls and laser guns. RailRiders’ players and staff will participate in the team sport with club members from 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
The big league baseball dream propels the RailRiders each day. On Friday, July 11, the RailRiders will seek to help dreams of a different variety. HOPE Week concludes with Princess and Pirate Night at PNC Field as the RailRiders partner with the Make-A-Wish foundation to honor two deserving kids. Limos, along with staff dressed in their best princess and pirate attire, will escort the two honorees to PNC Field for special on-field recognition and ceremonial first pitches. Each child will receive a complimentary princess and pirate costume and promotional package.
HOPE Week is just a part of the RailRiders’ community outreach this season, and the RailRiders look forward to continuing their involvement both during and after HOPE Week. Any inquiries regarding the week-long festivities should be directed to RailRiders community relations manager Rachel Mark by calling 570-969-2255 (ext. 3140) or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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