The second annual Tribute to Our Troops Night will be held at Al Simpler Stadium September 21, 2007 when the Junction City Blue Jays take on the Topeka Seaman Vikings.
“This event is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our soldiers and their families,” said Ron Walker, USD 475 Superintendent. “Our troops’ deep commitment to country, community and family is inspiring.”
Festivities begin at 5:30PM with a free pre-game tailgate in the parking lot of Junction City High School. Kickoff for the football game begins at 7:00PM.
While supplies last, soldiers and military families can receive free football game tickets at Fort Riley’s Child and Youth Services – building 6620, or at the Armed Services YMCA at 111 E. 16th Street in Junction City. Pre-school aged children do not need a ticket.
Soldiers and military family members can receive half-priced tickets on game day by showing a military ID at the box office.
In addition to the free tailgate, the Junction City U.S. Army Recruiting Station will host a charity pizza party – proceeds going to the Fort Riley Red Cross Mothers Outreach Program. Additionally, commemorative rally towels will be available in the stadium for those wishing to donate to the Fort Riley cause.
The Fort Riley Red Cross Mothers Outreach Program at Irwin Army Community Hospital is a committed cadre of volunteers who make hospital visits and deliver newborn essentials to new mothers – wives of soldiers E-4 and below.
“I’m ecstatic that the Junction City community wants to help out Mothers Outreach – it is a wonderful cause that has helped so many,” said Edith Nolan, chairperson for the organization. “I’m amazed at how this community is so committed to helping our soldiers and their families.”
Community sponsors for this event are: The Junction City-Geary County Military Affairs Council, the Junction City U.S. Army Recruiting Station, Armour-Eckrich Meats, Mary’s Floral of Junction City, Screen Machine Sports, Pepsi and the Junction City High School Athletic Booster Club.
During Halftime, USD 475 will honor the Fort Riley Soldier of the Year, Specialist Matthew Araujo; Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Staff Sgt. David Peterson; Volunteer of the Year, Edith Nolan and Youth Volunteer of the Year, Stephen Nolan. Each honoree will receive a personalized Blue Jay football Jersey. Ron Walker and Garrison Commander Colonel Richard Piscal will make brief remarks. Garrison Command Sergeant Major Michael Mathews will also attend.
Additionally, USD 475 students and staff are collecting items for the Fort Riley Red Cross Mothers Outreach Program, as well as for the Fort Riley Red Cross Hospital program – a program that serves injured soldiers returning to Fort Riley. The Topeka Seaman Vikings Booster Club is collecting items for both Red Cross programs and will bring what it collects to the football game.
Those attending the football game are encouraged to bring an item. Collection containers will be available at the stadium that evening.
ITEMS for Mothers Outreach: (All items must be new and in original packaging) Newborn – three-month onsies, baby booties and/or newborn socks, pacifiers, receiving blankets, formula – any kind or size, newborn – three-month sleepwear for fall/winter, small baby toys.
ITEMS for Red Cross Hospital Program: (All items must be new and in original packaging) Small cans of shaving cream, deodorant, combs, hair brushes, aftershave, toothbrushes, toothpaste.
For more information, please contact Debbie Bengtson at 785-717-4008.