Moosic, Pa. - What began as an ode to the parent club and the community has turned into an annual tradition in NEPA. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) are proud to announce that beginning on Monday, June 19, the RailRiders will join the New York Yankees in support of HOPE (Helping Others Persevere and Excel) Week 2017, a unique week-long communal program that brings to light extraordinary stories intended to inspire individuals into action in their own communities.
Initiated in 2009 and now in its eighth campaign in NEPA, HOPE Week is rooted in the fundamental belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient of the gesture. Each day from Monday, June 19, through Sunday, June 25, members of the RailRiders front office staff or club will reach out personally to connect with an organization, cause or individual. 2017 marks the sixth straight year that each of the Yankees' six U.S.-based affiliates will participate in the program, making the initiative one that the entire organization proudly stands behind.
"Being a part of the Yankees family is special. HOPE Week is one of the unbelievable programs that solidifies the 'Yankee way' and how important it is to impact your community," said RailRiders Team Pesident/COO Josh Olerud.
On Monday, June 19, will hold a special meet and greet between SWB players and military veterans. Local veterans from St. Francis Commons Veterans Program in Scranton will receive tickets to the game and will have a special meet and greet with players at the field before the game. These veteran groups in attendance will receive special recognition during the Hometown Heroes in-game announcement.
From 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20, players, coaches and front office staff will help box up meals for the Commission on Economic Opportunity's "Senior Box Program" at the Weinberg Northeast Regional Foodbank in Pittston, PA. The CEO's "Senior Box Program" provides meals to over 2,000 senior citizens in the area every month.
Wednesday, June 21, will feature a visit to the Janet Weis Children's Unit at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital. Players, coaches, front office staff, and CHAMP will visit the patients in the Children's Unit of the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The visit will include reading to and visiting with the kids, coloring CHAMP and other fun pages and each child will get a special gift to keep. During the game, autographed memorabilia will be auctioned off and the proceeds will be given to the Ronald McDonald House of Scranton towards their efforts to support families of children who are in the hospitals in the local Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.
RailRiders players will make a special visit on Thursday, June 22, to see a local Nanticoke area high school senior varsity baseball player, Aaron Kreitzer, who is in the hospital battling leukemia. Kreitzer will also be presented with his own custom RailRiders jersey. Since his diagnosis, Kreitzer's high school baseball team, fellow students, and the whole Greater Nanticoke area community have rallied around him and his family throwing charity softball tournaments and fundraising benefits.
SWB will kick-off their annual RailRiders Vs. Cancer fundraiser on Friday, June 23. Fans will be informed of the fundraiser, the date of the head shaving will be announced, and past year's fundraising campaign success will be highlighted. The RailRiders will also get to choose a local pediatric cancer program to receive half of the funds raised in this season's campaign. Fans at the ballpark will be given the team fundraising website information.
From 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, players, coaches and staff will volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. They will put the finishing touches on a home in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., for a low-income family to purchase in July. The Wyoming Valley Habitat for Humanity restored the home for a single mother and her five-year-old daughter.
The team will wrap up their HOPE Week on Sunday, June 25, by participating in Minor League Baseball's Joe Torre "Safe at Home" Domestic Violence Awareness Initiative. MiLB Charities has teamed up with the Joe Torre "Safe at Home" Foundation to raise awareness for domestic violence and educate fans about the resources available to help those in need. The first 500 fans at the game will receive Topps Card Sets featuring MLB veterans and top prospects and a signed Joe Torre Baseball will be raffled or auctioned off for the charity of our choosing. A representative from the Joe Torre Foundation will also be in attendance.
Our Community Organization of the Game will be the Mary Kay Foundation whose mission is to serve and support women with cancer and women and children affected by domestic violence. The Mary Kay Foundation will be selling their t-shirts during the game to raise money for their local programs. There will also be a "supply" drive (Items such as hygiene products, diapers, baby food and formula, school supplies, bus tickets and a no-longer used cell phone can make an important difference).
HOPE Week is just a part of the RailRiders' community outreach this season, and the RailRiders look forward to continuing their involvement both during and after HOPE Week. Any inquiries regarding the weeklong festivities should be directed to RailRiders director of community relations Jordan Maydole by calling 570-969-2255 (ext. 3140) or by e-mailing email@example.com.
The 2016 Gildan Triple-A National Champion RailRiders hit the road for four games in three days against the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) beginning Friday, June 16. First pitch at Coca-Cola Field is set for 7:05 p.m. The boys of SWB return home on Monday, June 19, against the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals). Every Monday home game at PNC Field is Dollar Dog Night, presented by the Times-Tribune. For tickets or more information, please call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.