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04/21/2010 11:32 AM ET
Mets launch the Mets Alumni Association Presented by Citi
Mets legends Tom Seaver and Mookie Wilson kick off community-based initiative today at Citi Field with Veterans and Wounded Warrior Project
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FLUSHING, NY -- The New York Mets today announced the launch of the Mets Alumni Association Presented by Citi as part of the organization's ongoing commitment to honor its history and serve the community. Dozens of Mets players spanning all eras will visit Citi Field throughout the season, interacting with fans at the ballpark and participating in community events around New York City. The Alumni Association will establish an open dialogue with the nearly 1,000 players who have played for the Mets through newsletters and other forms of communication.

Mets favorites Tom Seaver, Mookie Wilson, Ed Kranepool, Bud Harrelson, Rusty Staub and Al Jackson kicked off the program today at Citi Field by joining 25 U.S. military veterans and the Wounded Warrior Project for a tour of the new Mets Hall of Fame & Museum. The veterans and their guests will enjoy lunch with the players and then stay for tonight's game.

During the game, Mets alumni will work alongside the Citi Military Veterans Network and staffers from the New York City Military Network to encourage fans at Citi Field to make a card for service members recovering from injuries sustained in battle or preparing for deployment.

The Mets and Citi along with members from the Alumni Association will also present their first "Teammates in the Community" award during a pre-game, on-field ceremony to Colonel Tom Endres, a volunteer from Wounded Warrior Project. The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary service to New Yorkers, and will be presented during every visit by the Mets Alumni Association during the season.

"The Mets Alumni Association Presented by Citi reflects our deepening relationship with Citi by celebrating club history through increased fan interaction with Mets greats," said Dave Howard, Executive Vice President, New York Mets. "This is particularly exciting as it has the added element of reaching into our community to promote important causes and honor local heroes who serve others."

"Our support of the Mets Alumni Association is a great example of Citi's expanding relationship with the New York Mets and a fantastic way for us to enrich our business and community programs," said Bill Brown, Manhattan Division Manager, Citi. "Utilizing Mets legends spanning four decades of baseball including two world championship teams provides Citi with unprecedented opportunities to promote our world-class brand, enhance relationships with current clients, attract new customers, and enhance our local community initiatives in the region. This represents a natural evolution of our marketing and community efforts."

The Mets and Citi embarked on a series of community-based initiatives last year including Citi Field Kids, an educational and motivational program for students conducted before games at Citi Field developed in collaboration with the Jackie Robinson Foundation and United Neighborhood Houses. The 1969 World Championship Mets and Citi partnered with Habitat for Humanity in Brooklyn to help build the organization's largest multi-family housing project in the U.S., and constructed a house for a low-income New York family at Citi Field. Mets and Citi volunteers also teamed up with City Harvest on repacking 25,000 pounds of apples to distribute to food pantries across New York City.

The Mets support U.S. military veterans and their families through Welcome Back Veterans, a national public awareness and fundraising initiative created by Fred Wilpon, Mets Chairman and CEO, and a group of private citizens. Welcome Back Veterans is a national awareness and fundraising initiative that addresses the mental health needs of America's war veterans and their families. Major League Baseball, the McCormick Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation have partnered with leading University Hospitals in the U.S. to provide veterans and their families quality mental health treatment. The Mets also honor a "Veteran in the Game" at each home game at Citi Field to build awareness of Welcome Back Veterans.

About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Its purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service members, to help severely injured men and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, apolitical organization headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

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