The Mets and David Wright will honor NYPD heroes this year through the "The Wright Thing" community platform. The initiative underscores Wright's admiration of law enforcement personnel as his father, Rhon, served in the Norfolk Police Department for 30 years before retiring as Assistant Police Chief in January.
"The Wright Thing" launched last year with Wright honoring volunteers who made an extraordinary impact on the lives of individuals and organizations impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The season-long initiative raised awareness that more work needed to be done to help our hometown continue the recovery and rebuilding process.
Honorees are invited to Citi Field to meet David before the game, install third base with the grounds crew, sit along the third base line, and enjoy an in-game video on Citi Vision that features their meeting.
The Mets will salute U.S. service men and women throughout the 2014 season with Military Mondays presented by GovX. The initiative expands on the franchise's ongoing commitment to the military with complimentary tickets, retail discounts and community outreach events. On the field, Mets players will wear a new camouflage jersey for every Monday night home game at Citi Field starting April 21. During each Military Monday (April 21, July 7, July 28, September 8, September 15) a Mets player will present the "Veteran of the Game" with a team autographed camouflage jersey. Off the field, Mets front-office staff, alumni and players will visit a VA Hospital to meet recovering veterans and the dedicated doctors and nurses who care for them.
Mets fans donated more than 12,000 pounds of food during the three-day Mets Food Drive presented by Hain Celestial. City Harvest collected the food and distributed to community food programs throughout New York City. The amount donated helped feed 1,700 for a month or 133 families for a week. Wives of Mets players and Myriad Restaurant Group's Tracy Nieporent joined Mets staff at collection points around Citi Field. Each fan who donated five non-perishable food items received a voucher good for two tickets to a game in September.
The Mets hosted the club's first "Latino Leaders" event with pitchers Bartolo Colon, Jenrry Mejia and outfielder Bobby Abreu at Citi Field. The players engaged with teenagers from East Harlem and Corona in team-building activities that elicited stories from the players and teenagers about challenges they face and ways to rise above. The Mets worked with New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Julissa Fererras to invite deserving young adults from the Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation students and the Queens United Youth Baseball Organization in East Harlem and Corona, respectively.
The Mets teamed up with Citi and City Harvest for the annual Citi Repack on Mets Plaza. More than 100 Citi volunteers repackaged 20,000 pounds of apples that were distributed to food pantries and kitchens around New York City. Mets Hall-of-Famer Rusty Staub and Mr. Met joined the Citi volunteers in the effort that will feed over 6,000 families across the five boroughs.
Wives of 11 Mets players and coaches visited the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center and decorated cupcakes with patients in playrooms throughout the hospital. Mr. Met was also on hand to spread cheer and give out high-fours to children, their families and the doctors and nurses who care for them. Children also received goodie bags filled with Mets gear. In the end, the wives helped put smiles on the face of 125 patients at the hospital.
More than 600 fans donated blood at the Mets annual Summer Blood Drive at Citi Field with the New York Blood Center. Since 2009, blood drives at the ballpark have produced more than 5,000 pints of blood, and the Mets honored the fan who donated the milestone pint. Virginia from Shirely, New York was the lucky fan. She received V-I-P tickets, passes to watch batting practice from the field, a team signed jersey and the chance to meet her favorite Mets player. Blood collected from the drive will help over 1,800 people. In exchange for donating, fans received a voucher for a pair of tickets to a Mets game. This year's Summer Blood Drive took place June 23.
The Mets provide annual support to the New York Cares Coat Drive with their own "Warm-Up" Holiday Coat Drive at Citi Field in December. Fans who donated one or more coats received a pair of tickets to a Mets game, last year's drive - collected 1,011 coats.
The New York Mets hosted their annual Holiday Food Drive for City Harvest at Citi Field in November. Fans who donated at least 10 items of nutritious food received a pair of tickets to a Mets game.
Kids Day at Citi Field has become a tradition for children and families served by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of New York City. The Citi Field grounds crew gives the group a lesson in preparing the field for a game before the kids take a home run dash around the bases. After a lunch break in the Modell's Clubhouse, a Mets player and coach treat the children to a baseball clinic in the outfield.
The Mets continued their tradition of inviting local school children to the ballpark for their annual Kids Holiday Party last December. This year's special guests were 100 students from P.S.16, P.S.20 Pioneer Academy, The Learning Tree, and P.S.21. Daniel Murphy played the part of Santa Claus and Zack Wheeler served as his elf. They helped serve lunch and distribute gifts that were wrapped my Mets employees.
TeamMets is an initiative designed to bring attention to how people can volunteer in their communities. The ownership, front office, players and staff of the Mets will show their TeamMets spirit by making community service appearances throughout the year in support of this program meant to inspire and encourage our fans to consider their own commitment to volunteerism.
There are many levels of volunteerism, whether it's a visit to your local senior center, library or elementary school or joining one of the many non-profit service organizations located in New York City. To find out more about the variety of ways in which you can serve, visit nycservice.org.
Since its founding in 1991, the Everybody Wins! Foundation has been a leading non-profit literacy and mentoring organization, pairing caring adult volunteers with children in elementary schools for weekly reading aloud and conversation. For the past 13 years, Mets employees have been matched with a fourth or fifth grade student at PS 92 in Corona, Queens, to share lunch and a good book every week from November through May. The Mets have added their own special touches to the program by arranging a Reading Rally at the school for all of the students; a Shadow Day at Citi Field to allow reading partners to see their mentors at work; and an annual fourth grade outing to the ballpark.
Now in its sixth season, Citi Kids is an educational and motivational community-based initiative for New York City middle and high school students developed by Citi and the New York Mets.The program mission is to support youth development through various programs designed to instill meaningful values and knowledge that will serve as groundwork for these select youth's future.
Guest speakers this season have included New York Jets Quarterback Geno Smith, New York City restaurateur philanthropist Marcus Samuelsson and New York Knicks Guard Tim Hardaway, Jr.
Citi Kids was launched on April 15, 2009, in conjunction with Major League Baseball's annual Jackie Robinson Day.
The Mets welcomed 107 New York City high school and recognized as winners who defied the odds and graduated from high school and were recognized as winners of the Fund for Public Schools' Remarkable Achievement Awards. Carmen Farina, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, congratulated the students and their families during a special VIP reception in the Bullpen Plaza before the Mets game. The group enjoyed hot dogs, hamburgers, salad, pasta, popcorn and cookies before grabbing a Mets goodie bag and watching the game from Field Level seats.
The Mets and Citi, as part of their landmark partnership, have built on the team's longstanding relationship with the Jackie Robinson Foundation to support its education and leadership development program. The Foundation provides extensive mentoring and scholarships for college students who exemplify Jackie's humanitarian ideals and standard of excellence. The Mets established an endowed scholarship with the Foundation in 1996, which is created in perpetuity, to assist promising students in reaching their goals through a college education.
The Mets and broadcast television partner PIX 11 team up each spring to provide an educational and entertaining field trip for students prior to a game at Citi Field. The students fill the Field Level seats on the third base side as PIX 11 weather experts, Mr. G and Linda Church are positioned on the field to give the kids a behind-the-scenes look, with the assistance of Citi Vision, at how they prepare a weather forecast.
The New York Mets Foundation funds and promotes a variety of educational, social and athletic programs and other charitable causes. Founded in 1963, it continues its mission to invest in the future of our community, and to provide assistance to myriad organizations that benefit children and others in need.
A registered 501©3 charity, the Mets Foundation takes no portion of the funds raised to offset internal costs. The New York Mets pay 100% of the Foundation's overhead to ensure that the entirety of a donation is directed toward helping others. For more information, log on to metsfoundation.org »
The Mets hold their annual Welcome Home Dinner at the start of the season to celebrate the return of the team to New York. The players, manager, coaches and the rest of the organization attend the event that features a fundraising auction, raffle and autograph session. This year's gala at the Hilton New York raised over $500,000 for the Mets Foundation, which was distributed to the Katz Institute for Women's Health and Katz Women's Hospitals of the North Shore-LIJ Health System and the NYC chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The Mets hosed their annual Night to Believe fundraiser at Citi Field to benefitting Project ALS, a non-profit organization renowned for their outstanding leadership in finding and funding treatments and a cure for Lou Gehrig's disease. This year's event took place May 9 and featured Mets ambassador John Franco and raised over $200,000 for a total of over $2 million in the past 12 years.
The Mets partnered with ARAMARK the past 12 years to raise over $1.4 million for the Starlight Children's Foundation, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children who suffer from critical, chronic and life-threatening illnesses. The fundraiser took place June 24 and featured the wives of Mets players and coaches, a pre-game reception in the Bullpen Plaza, courtesy of ARAMARK, and seating in the Big Apple section of Citi Field as guests of the Mets.
The Mets and the Ronald McDonald House have teamed up for the past nine years to host an "Evening with the Mets" fundraiser at Citi Field, raising more than $250,000. The Ronald McDonald House is a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children undergoing medical treatment has been raised. This year's event is scheduled for September 8th.
The Mets Foundation sponsors the YMCA Jr. Mets, a comprehensive youth baseball program that emphasizes athletic and social skills as well as health and wellness. The YMCA Jr. Mets is an eight-week initiative that has introduced thousands of young people to baseball since its inception in 2001. The Mets provide members with caps and arrange for a player and coach to lead a baseball clinic at a YMCA site and at Citi Field.
Founded in 1986, B.A.T. is dedicated to assisting members of the Baseball Family with medical, financial and psychological issues with confidential, short-term assistance to help get them back on their feet. Major League Baseball covers the operating expenses therefore every dollar raised is used to provide assistance to members of the Baseball Family in need. The majority of the funds raised by B.A.T. come from the players who contribute through a payroll deduction program. In 2013, the players contributed more than $2.3 million.
MLB's Mother's Day efforts will once again be highlighted with special programs designed to raise awareness about breast cancer prevention and early detection, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research. The Mets and 29 MLB teams will host the Honorary Bat Girl Contest to raise additional awareness and recognize fans who are "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" in their daily lives. Mother's Day games recognize an Honorary Bat Girl and feature special in-park "pink" programming, including pink ribbon logos on the bases and many players using pink bats.
Mets Chairman & CEO Fred Wilpon and private citizens created Welcome Back Veterans, a national public awareness and fundraising initiative that addresses the mental health needs of America's returning war veterans and their families. Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and the McCormick Foundation working with University Hospitals throughout the country, support the program, which provides returning veterans the quality medical treatment they deserve. The Mets salute a "Veteran of the Game" at each home game at Citi Field throughout the season.
The Roberto Clemente Award, presented by Chevy, recognizes the player in Major League Baseball who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team. In September, a nominee from each of the 30 MLB teams is announced on Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by MLB in 2002 to pay homage to the Hall of Famer's legacy. The Mets' 2013 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award was David Wright.
Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit and Run -- the official skills competition of Major League Baseball -- is a free grass roots program which encourages youth participation and emphasizes the fun of baseball. The competitor's ability to hit, run, field and throw is tested at regional trials and compared with others in his or her age group across the United States to qualify for the National Finals held during Major League Baseball's All-Star Game. The Mets host an on-field regional competition at Citi Field and recognize the local winners in a pre-game ceremony.
Major League Baseball teams up with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to increase awareness and early detection of prostate cancer on Father's Day. On-field personnel wear blue wristbands, eye glare and ribbon uniform decals, while blue ribbon logos appear on bases, commemorative home plates and lineup cards. A "Home Run Challenge" fundraising component is implemented during select MLB games to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
To support the growth of youth baseball and softball, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) has teamed up with MLB Baseball Clubs to organize equipment collection drives across the United States. The Mets have collected over two thousand baseball and softball bats, gloves, balls and catcher's gear the past six seasons to benefit The Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance, which distributes the donations to area youth baseball organizations. The BTF also presents a grant of $5,000 to go toward the purchase of additional equipment.This year's event took place on August 1.
The Mets, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and the SNY PlayBall Program teamed up to hold a field maintenance clinic at Citi Field to instruct 60 coaches, groundkeepers and athletic directors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Bill Deacon the Mets Director of Field Operations & Landscaping, led the clinic, which help attendees better maintain youth fields throughout the region. As part of the program the Baseball Tomorrow Fund awarded two $5,000 field maintenance grants to purchase field maintenance equipment, supplies or services.
The Mets participate annually in the MLB Players Association Buses for Baseball (BFB) program. BFB gives underprivileged kids in the metropolitan area the chance to attend a Major League game as personal guests of the players. The Players Trust partners with local transit authorities and Major League teams, as well as charitable organizations in Major League cities, to share the thrill of a big league game with kids who need more chances to smile. The kids are welcomed by Mets players who spend time signing autographs, giving away souvenirs and posing for photographs. Complimentary food and soft drinks during the game -- and often the chance to see their names on the scoreboard -- provide lasting memories before the bus heads home.
The Mets team up with the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society each year to host 100 youth at Citi Field to teach them valuable lessons regarding the importance of exercise and the dangers of steroids. The children learn exercises from the Mets training staff and participate in a question and answer session with a Mets player about the importance of living healthy.
The Mets partner with Major League Baseball umpires to offer memorable baseball game experiences for children awaiting adoption and at-risk youth in mentoring programs. Children receive a VIP experience including great seats to see the Mets at Citi Field, a goody bag of 'all things baseball', and the unique opportunity to step onto the field for a souvenir baseball and photo.
This year's Breaking Barriers Essay Contest grand prize winner was Christian Leigh, a fifth grader from Terryville, NY, whose winning essay was chosen from thousands of entries from across the country and Canada.