MANCHESTER, N.H. - With a retrospective video and a burst of confetti, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats announced tonight that the 2013 edition of the Granite State Baseball Dinner has pushed the event's fundraising total beyond a milestone marker. Tonight's proceeds, which are still being finalized, have driven the money raised by the dinner since 2007 beyond $1 million to benefit the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD), the Ted Williams Museum, and the Fisher Cats Foundation.
"Since our team became involved in reviving the dinner in 2007, this event has meant so much to our organization," said Art Solomon, Fisher Cats owner and Chairman of the Fisher Cats Foundation Board. "We are so pleased to reach this milestone, and we take pride in being able to continue the rich tradition of this dinner. We want to thank all of the celebrated guests, sponsors, and fans over the years that have joined us in making a positive impact on three incredible organizations."
The Fisher Cats first involvement in the Granite State Baseball Dinner, now presented by Northeast Delta Dental, came in January of 2007. In 2008, the team followed up its January event with a second dinner in November, permanently shifting the state's largest fundraising dinner to its current place on the calendar on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
Since the revival in 2007, the total funds raised by the dinner sat at $979,794.46 entering tonight. During that time, CHaD has received nearly $430,000 to support the programs at one of the world's leading research hospitals. The Fisher Cats Foundation has received a similar amount, and it has used that money, in part, to fund scholarships to 80 college-bound seniors in New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. The Ted Williams Museum has been gifted with $125,000 to continue its mission to provide youth baseball programs and scholarships while adding to the heritage of the national pastime.
The 2013 dinner was highlighted by World Champion Boston Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes and New Hampshire legend Chris Carpenter, who announced the end of his illustrious career just a few days ago. Additional past celebrities have included baseball Hall-of-Famers Wade Boggs and Jim Rice, 'Mr. Red Sox' Johnny Pesky, renowned sluggers Cecil Fielder and Fred McGriff, and legends of the Boston sports scene including the Bruins' Terry O'Reilly, the Celtics' Cedric Maxwell, and the Patriots' Steve Nelson. More than 7,200 fans have enjoyed the company of these celebrities - and many more - since 2007.
The 2014 Granite State Baseball Dinner will be held on Saturday, November 22.
Opening Day at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium is Thursday, April 10, 2014, against the Binghamton Mets (New York Mets). Fisher Cats Full and Half-Season Tickets packages and Mini-Ticket Plans are on sale now. Each package comes with an array of benefits and free gifts, ranging from free birthday parties and all-you-can-eat barbecues to free ski passes and gift cards to local restaurants. To view all the ticket packages for the 2014 season, visit www.nhfishercats.com or call (603) 641-2005.