The Mets held their annual Welcome Home Dinner presented by Alliance Building Services for the first time at Citi Field on Sunday, April 2. The event raised more than $700,000 for the Mets Foundation, which funds and promotes a variety of educational, social and athletic programs and charitable causes.
The intimate evening featured Mets Ownership, General Manager Sandy Alderson, Manager Terry Collins and the entire Mets roster. Comedian and Saturday Night Live veteran Jim Breuer hosted a Game Show featuring Mets players.
The Mets presented the Ya Gotta Believe Award to the thousands of men and women who risk their lives to uphold their commitment to protect our community. NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill accepted the award on behalf of the honorees who included Detectives Wenjian Liu, Rafael Ramos, Brian Moore, Randolph Holder and Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo. The Ya Gotta Believe Award is an award given annually to an individual within or associated with the Mets family who has shown an exceptional commitment to the community, fortitude in overcoming adversity, and the spirit to believe that anything is possible.
Guests had the opportunity to taste Hors d'oeuvre and signature drinks from our world renowned culinary partners. They also had the opportunity to bid on Mets autographed memorabilia and exclusive experiences through the Amazin' Auction. After the dinner, guests were invited onto the field where they were able to walk in the Mets dugout and tour the Mets Clubhouse.
The Mets invited the families of FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo and NYPD Detective Steven McDonald, who both passed away this year, to honor the fallen heroes before the start of the game on Opening Day. Justin, Isaiah, Kenneth and Jose Luis, four of Arroyo's children were present alongside Conor and Patti Anne, son and wife of McDonald. The families shared smiles and hugs as they exchanged stories alongside Mets COO Jeff Wilpon.
The Arroyo brothers were given jerseys with the number 26 on the back to signify Station 26 in the Bronx where their mother, a 14-year veteran, was assigned. The McDonalds wore jersey number 104 which was Detective McDonald's badge number.
A moment of silence was held to pay tribute to NYPD Detective McDonald and FDNY EMT Arroyo. After the moment of silence, the families walked side by side towards the back of the pitcher's mound. Kenneth, 18, and Conor, 29, took the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch simultaneously while Mets captain David Wright and Bronx native T.J. Rivera served as catchers.
The sellout crowd of more than 44,000 stood and applauded as the pair threw strikes. It was a fitting tribute to two heroes who dedicated their lives to serving and helping our city.
Mets players Robert Gsellman, Kevin Plawecki and third base coach Glenn Sherlock helped teach baseball fundamentals to over 50 kids at the Junior Mets Clinic presented by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at Citi Field.
The monthly clinics run by Mets players and coaches gives local youth from all five boroughs a chance to learn how to hit, field and pitch from the pros. Each participant received four tickets to a future Mets game and a surprise visit from Mr. Met during the clinic.
As part of MLB's Play Ball weekend, the Mets will team up with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund to collect new and gently used baseballs, bats, gloves, balls and helmets that will be distributed to local youth baseball organizations. The drive will take place on Sunday, June 4 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m between the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and Mets Team Store. Items most in need are: baseballs, bats, gloves, and helmets. Any individual that donates three (3) baseballs, a glove, helmet or bat will receive a voucher good for two tickets to select Mets home games in 2017.
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The Mets and The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. will partner once again for the annual in-season food drive benefiting families served by The River Fund NY. The Richmond Hill, Queens based organization serves 160,000 clients, 40% of whom are children. Fans donating 10 items or more of nonperishable nutritious food will receive a voucher for one pair of Mets tickets to a select game in 2017.
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