On Thursday, November 9, the Worcester Red Sox hosted the third annual Veteran’s Day Dinner at Polar Park. As the WooSox’ third year hosting the event, this year marks the 9th annual to be hosted by the franchise, which began the tradition at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in
On Thursday, November 9, the Worcester Red Sox hosted the third annual Veteran’s Day Dinner at Polar Park. As the WooSox’ third year hosting the event, this year marks the 9th annual to be hosted by the franchise, which began the tradition at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 2015.
Each year since, the team has opened the ballpark to nearly 200 Veterans and guests to enjoy a delicious steak dinner, cooked by our very own Executive Chef Tom Whalen, who is also a former combat medic.
Mike Lyons, United States Marine Corps Veteran, welcomed the attendees and introduced Dr. Charles Steinberg, president of the WooSox and the WooSox Foundation. Lyons has been an integral part of the Veteran’s Day Dinner tradition since its inception at McCoy Stadium and continues to play an instrumental part in the WooSox organization.
“On behalf of our entire organization, we congratulate you and we thank you, and we know we wouldn't be here without you, so thank you, thank you, thank you,” Steinberg said.
Those in attendance were also presented with handmade cards expressing gratitude and appreciation for their service, crafted by fifth-grade students from Gates Lane Elementary School. Members of the WooSox Front Office visit Gates Lane Elementary each Wednesday afternoon to mentor students in Worcester in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & Metrowest.
Recently re-elected Mayor Joe Petty was also in attendance and emphasized the importance of investing in those who have protected us. He introduced the new director of the Veterans’ Affairs Department, former United States Marine, Dr. Joe Robinson.
Prior to dinner, former United States Army Captain Alan Schwartz sang a beautiful rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which he has performed many times in Polar Park during pregame ceremonies. His performance was followed by a heartfelt prayer from Stephen Schimmel, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts.
This annual gathering stands as a testament to the WooSox and the WooSox Foundation's commitment to honoring Veterans throughout the year. Beyond this event, fans are encouraged to nominate local veterans for the WooSox’ “In Debt To A Vet” program, which recognizes military men and women every home game at Polar Park at the end of the 4th inning.