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Altoona Mirror & AMBUCS Altoona Team Up for Curve, Pa. Heroes Game

Proceeds from in-game jersey auction and other fundraising efforts will purchase an Action Trackchair for one local veteran
May 22, 2014

CURVE, Pa. - The Altoona Mirror and AMBUCS Altoona have partnered up with the Altoona Curve to present the Curve, Pa. Heroes Game during the 2014 Eastern League All-Star Stop presented by UPMC Health Plan, the parties announced today. The Curve Pa. Heroes Game presented by the Altoona Mirror & AMBCUS Altoona will kick off the two days' worth of festivities surrounding the Eastern League's midsummer classic in Curve, Pa. 

The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST), which is made up of young, competitive, athletic veterans and active duty soldiers who have lost limbs post-9/11 while serving their country in the military/war, will be taking on a group of Curve, Pa. Alumni in the Heroes softball game. One member of the WWAST that will be participating in the game will be Josh Wege, who was in the U.S. Marines and served in Operation Enduring Freedom. Wege participated in the 2013 MLB Legends Celebrity Softball Game and was named the game's MVP.   

"The Mirror is thrilled with the opportunity to be involved with such a great event in the all-star game and such a great cause in the Wounded Warrior Project," said Ray Eckenrode, the Mirror General Manager for Advertising. "To be able to recognize the sacrifices of our service men and women is truly an honor. The POW/MIA Chair is a pet project of our publisher, Ed Kruger, and we'd like to thank the Curve staff for taking Ed's vision and making it a reality in such a special way."

Already scheduled to represent the Curve Alumni in the game are Adam Hyzdu, Mike Johnston, Tike Redman, Chris Snusz and Jack Wilson. They'll be joined by a few additions in former Curve OF Kory DeHaan and LHP Mike Connolly

DeHaan, who is currently the hitting coach with High-A Bradenton, played for the Curve during their inaugural season in 1999, reached the major leagues in 2000 with San Diego and again in 2002. DeHaan batted .268 with 13 doubles in 47 games for the Curve during the 1999 campaign. He last played professionally in 2003 for the Portland Beavers (Padres' AAA Affiliate), playing in 54 games. 

Connolly played for the Curve from 2003 to 2006 and reached as high as Triple-A both in 2005 and 2006. He was originally a 19th round draft pick in the 2000 draft out of Oneonta (NY) HS. Connolly currently resides in Altoona and is the co-owner/operator of ERA Sports, a baseball and softball academy offering advanced lessons and fielding teams that travel regionally to participate in tournaments.  

"It will be great to welcome Kory and Mike back for the Heroes Game," said Curve General Manager Rob Egan. "Our fans remember Kory for his outstanding second-half with the Curve in our inaugural season and for being just our second-ever player to go on and play in the Major Leagues. 'Conno' was a big part of our starting rotation for four years and, in each of those seasons, the Curve made the playoffs. It's great to see him having success running ERA Sports teaching hundreds of local young players how to play the game."

AMBUCS Altoona, which is a national non-profit service organization consisting of a diverse group of men and women who are dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities, has partnered up for the first day of events to help raise support and funds for the purchase of an Action Trackchair for one veteran here in Blair County. AMBUCS is working with the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center to select the recipient for the Action Trackchair. The Action Trackchair is the ultimate in off-road wheelchairs and will give its user the ability to navigate mountain roads, campgrounds, woods, beaches, hiking trails, frozen lakes, snowy terrain and much more. 

All proceeds from the Ghostman Games & Hitting Challenge jerseys that the All-Stars will wear will be donated to the fund to purchase of the Action Trackchair. In addition, fans can purchase their very own Ghostman Games jersey with a portion of the proceeds from the sales going to the purchase of the Trackchair. The Curve will be accepting general donations up until the Eastern League All-Star Stop during game days at the Laurel Eye Clinic Customer Service Booth or non-game days inside the front office at Peoples Natural Gas Field.