FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - The Fayetteville Woodpeckers, Class A Advanced MiLB affiliate of the Houston Astros, are honored to announce their recognition from the Carolina League with the 2019 Patriot Award.
The Patriot Award is presented to a team in Minor League Baseball for outstanding support of the United States Armed Forces and veterans, both at the ballpark and in the community. Each year, the Carolina League unveils the recipients of six off-the-field awards following the conclusion of the season. Among the awards, the Patriot Award is a prestigious honor that nominates the winning organization for the national MiLB Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award.
"The Woodpeckers are honored to reside alongside Fort Bragg and couldn't have asked for a better city to call home," said Woodpeckers President, Mark Zarthar. "The Patriot Award symbolizes our collaboration with the local military community and the significant contributions by our Community Leaders partners."
A quarter of a million fans and guests from around the world were delighted by the integration of the military community throughout the inaugural season at Segra Stadium; ultimately, earning the team national recognition in publications such as Baseball Digest & USA Today. Some of the highlights include Opening Night on April 18th complete with an Apache flyover, Black Ops Night on May 4th, and Military Appreciation Night on June 14th.
"Even before the Woodpeckers played their first game, they reached out to Fort Bragg and told us they are committed to being a community partner with us, and they want to help our Service members and us in any way possible," said COL Phillip D. Sounia, Fort Bragg's Garrison Commander. "They've lived up to this commitment and has truly been a partner we can count on whether it be at an event at Segra Stadium, or here on Fort Bragg. They get involved with our activities, our families and our Service members and work with us hand-in-hand in improving the quality of life for our whole community."
Additionally, the Woodpeckers have invested nearly 75 thousand dollars in the Greater Fayetteville area through their official team charity, The Community Leaders Program. Among these efforts, the team has sent over 50 children to summer camp at Rick's Place, provided 6 thousand dollars in scholarships to gold star children through the Patriot Foundation, and provided one thousand Bird Bath Hygiene Kits for elementary and middle school children on Fort Bragg. The Community Leaders Program facilitates the team's investment of time, energy, and resources in support of youth sports and military service members and their families. This program relies on its collaboration with local and national corporations, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, and the Astros Foundation. The 2019 Community Leaders Program Partners are SEGRA, AEVEX, ASUS, Carolina's Dentist, and Walsingham Group.
Finally, coming this Saturday, November 9th at Segra Stadium: Join us as we continue to honor our veterans during Heroes Homecoming in downtown Fayetteville! Bunker, everyone's favorite red-cockaded woodpecker, will be in the Hay Street Parade staring at 10a, followed by our Fall Fest event at the stadium from 12p-4p. The event is free to the public and features activities for all ages to enjoy. For more information about this event, visit https://www.milb.com/fayetteville/community/specialevents
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.