In the spirit of the holiday season, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats announced today the proceeds generated by the 2016 Granite State Baseball Dinner, presented by Northeast Delta Dental. Through sponsorship donations, ticket sales, silent and live auctions, and raffle ticket sales, more than $127,000 was donated from the Nov. 19 event to benefit the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD), the Ted Williams Foundation, and the Fisher Cats Foundation.
"We're honored to host this event every year, and we're proud of the impact it makes in our community," said Art Solomon, Fisher Cats owner and Chairman of the Fisher Cats Foundation board. "The work of our Foundation is at the forefront of what we do as an organization, and we're so thankful for the support of all of the sponsors and fans who make the Baseball Dinner successful each year."
"On behalf of everyone at CHaD, especially the kids and families we serve, I would like to express our deepest thanks for the wonderful partnership we have with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats," said Dr. Keith Loud, Director, Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. "The Granite State Baseball Dinner committee, the Fisher Cats staff and the entire Fisher Cats' organization are truly champions for kids. They make a difference for all the children of our region, but especially those who are sick and injured, and for that we are extremely grateful."
"This announcement has become a holiday tradition for us, and it means so much to our staff and the entire Fisher Cats family," said Fisher Cats President Mike Ramshaw. "The Baseball Dinner is the highlight of our offseason. It's incredibly rewarding to be able to donate to these great charities, and the support of our fans and partners in the community really makes a difference."
"We are honored to participate in the Granite State Baseball Dinner every year," said Ted Williams Foundation Executive Director Dave McCarthy. "Through our partnership with the Fisher Cats and CHaD, and the generosity of the sponsors, fans, and athletes, we can further our initiatives to honor and celebrate the game of baseball."
Since the Fisher Cats became involved with the dinner in 2007, more than $1.5 million has been donated to the three charitable groups.
In addition to the main fundraising efforts of the event, the Fisher Cats and Primary Bank partnered to host a coat drive to benefit New Horizons for New Hampshire. Dinner patrons donated dozens of coats, which will be used by New Horizons to provide warm clothing for those in need during the winter months.
The 2016 dinner featured another unique panel of celebrity guests, including New Hampshire native and Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter and Hall of Famer Wade Boggs. Additional guests included former Red Sox Luis Tiant, Lou Merloni and Rich Gedman, along with pitching greats Denny McLain and Scott McGregor.
Several Granite Staters were also featured at the head table, including minor league infielder Michael Fransoso of Portsmouth and pitchers Carson Cross of Brentwood, and Nashua's Kevin McGowan.
A group of New England prospects also attended the event, including Alex Powers of Hyannis, Mass. and the Cincinnati Reds farm system, Keene State standout and Orioles prospect Cody Dube, and former St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Dover, N.H.) star Ryan McKenna, who Baltimore drafted in the fourth round last year.
The Fisher Cats were honored to host two members of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, Brian Gentilotti and Matthew Pennington, as well as 2012 Paralympic gold medalist Victoria Arlen of Exeter.
The dinner tradition will continue in 2017 on Saturday, Nov. 19.
The Fisher Cats open the 2017 season on Thursday, April 6, versus the recently renamed Binghamton Rumble Ponies (AA-New York Mets). On July 12, the team will host the 2017 Northeast Delta Dental Eastern League All-Star Classic at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium featuring the top prospects from each of the league's 12 teams.
Fisher Cats full and half-season tickets are available now and feature a wide variety of benefits, including reserved seating for the 2017 Northeast Delta Dental Eastern League All-Star Classic, up to $100 in Fisher Cash, access to exclusive events like on-field batting practice, team autograph signings and more. Visit nhfishercats.com for more information.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.