The Dayton Dragons and the Dayton Development Coalition will hold the first of two Hometown Heroes™ Celebration Nights Saturday, May 20 at Fifth Third Field when the Dragons play the Bowling Green Hot Rods at 7:07 p.m.
"Hometown Heroes™ Celebration Nights represent something truly special about the Dayton Region," said Jeff Hoagland, DDC President and CEO. "Our desire to thank those who serve our country, combined with a true American pastime, has created an incredible night dedicated to our Hometown Heroes. We want to thank them for their service and let them know, no matter where they are stationed, Dayton will always welcome them home."
The Celebration Nights are the highlight of the year-long Hometown Heroes™ program, which honors our community's service men and women affiliated with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Springfield, Ohio Air National Guard Base. The DDC and the Dragons, with the generous support of local businesses, began the program 14 years ago as a way for the community to support the thousands of military families in the region.
Colonel McDonald, the installation and 88th Air Base Wing commander, will swear in 12 new Air Force recruits during the game.
Major General William Cooley, the commander of Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and Colonel Bradley McDonald, the Wright-Patt installation and 88th Air Base Wing commander at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base., will throw out a first pitch.
The Association of Defense Communities recently recognized Dayton as a Great American Defense Community, in part for the Hometown Heroes™ programs at the Dragons, Victoria Theatre Association, Dayton Art Institute, and Dayton Air Show. Hometown HeroesTM, working in close partnership with Dayton Hoopla/First Four events, UD & WSU Men's Basketball, and the Fraze Pavilion, offers year-long events honoring our military community.
Staff Sergeant Kelly Perry from the Air Force Band of Flight. During the national anthem, the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Honor Guard will present the colors.
On the plaza, there will be a Security Forces Humvee, an Air Force Recruit Van, and the 445th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron will showcase equipment used on evacuation missions. The Dragons Entertainment staff will hand out mini flags, and fans can sign "Thank You" cards to send to troops overseas.
More Information: The Dayton Dragons are the Midwest League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and play a 70-game home schedule at beautiful Fifth Third Field in downtown Dayton, easily accessible from Interstate 75. Individuals and groups seeking information about Dayton Dragons group tickets, lawn tickets, the season ticket wait list, sponsorship opportunities or booking a Dragons speaker are encouraged to contact the Dragons by calling (937) 228-2287, by email at email@example.com, or on the web at daytondragons.com
The Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) is the leading economic development organization for the 14-county Dayton region. Working closely with public and private regional partners, its mission is to retain, expand and recruit jobs. The DDC and the Dayton region ranked as the nation's top metro for its size for economic development in 2008, 2009 and 2012 and runner-up in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015. With the State's largest single-site employer in its backyard, the DDC also focuses on advocating for the critical missions at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and supporting the work of the United States Air Force. The DDC was ranked as America's top military community, and was presented with the 2015 Community Excellence Award from the Association of Defense Communities. It was designated as one of the ADC's Great American Defense Communities in 2016 - a testament to the collaborative efforts in support of Wright-Patt, America's #1 Air Force Base as ranked by the Air Force Times (2014). For any questions regarding the DDC, contact Shannon Joyce Neal at (937) 231-5436.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.