Wappingers Falls, N.Y. (Nov. 9, 2023) -- Each November 11, the United States celebrates Veterans Day, a day in which we all come together in appreciation for the veterans who served our great country and defended our freedom both at home and abroad. As part of the fabric of the
*Wappingers Falls, N.Y. (Nov. 9, 2023) *-- Each November 11, the United States celebrates Veterans Day, a day in which we all come together in appreciation for the veterans who served our great country and defended our freedom both at home and abroad. As part of the fabric of the Hudson Valley community, the Renegades and the Renegades Community Program presented by Westchester Medical Center Health Network has made a point of celebrating and impacting local veterans in our community.
One of the most special nights of the season at Heritage Financial Park is the annual Veterans Appreciation Night hosted by the Renegades. Instead of wearing their normal Renegades jerseys, the team suits up in military-inspired attire and transforms for one night into the Hudson Valley Veterans, and that is only the start.
The mission of Veterans Appreciation Night has always been to go above and beyond to display the gratitude that we have for our veterans every night. In alignment with the Renegades mission statement to create magical experiences that become lifelong memories for our entire community, Veterans Appreciation Night has created a magical experience for local veterans and their families since its inception in 2015. Over 6,000 tickets have been distributed to veterans and their families during the lifetime of the program, and the night continues to grow on a yearly basis.
"We are so appreciative of our veterans and all they have done to serve our country and protect our freedom at home and abroad, and we want to do everything we can to give back and thank them," said Marcella Costello, Manager of Community Relations for the Renegades. "One of the things we are the most proud of as an organization is how involved we are in helping our local veterans in myriad ways."
The one-night name change began in 2019, which added an extra special aspect of the night. Renegades fans immediately embraced the specialty jerseys, caps and other Veterans gear, which is still some of the best-selling merchandise in the Renegades Team Store. Each year the jerseys are auctioned off as a fundraiser for our local Vet2Vet organizations, netting over $30,000 since 2019.
It is the only night of the year at Heritage Financial Park that the gates open three hours before first pitch to allow veterans and their families to enter and enjoy a catered pregame meal before a special pre-game ceremony honoring Veterans from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. It is a powerful night of celebration, while also serving as a reminder of just how many people in the Hudson Valley have served our country to protect the freedom that we hold near and dear.
The program would not be possible without the work of Larry Neumann, the facilitator of Vet2Vet program in Middletown. He has been the driving organizing force of the program from its inception, and the night would not be as impactful without his efforts.
While the program has been wildly successful, it is only one facet of how the Renegades support our local veterans throughout the year. Through appearances at the Castle Point VA Hospital, an Independence Day patriotic jersey auction benefitting Guardian Revival, the Veterans Day Food Drive conducted alongside Heritage Financial Credit Union and the award-winning Veteran of the Game program presented by AARP New York, the Renegades commitment to giving back to our veterans is unmatched in Minor League Baseball, and will continue to grow in 2024.
As we prepare to celebrate Veterans Day 2023, the Renegades wish to extend a sincere and hearty thank you to all who served our country.