On Friday, November 10, during the Utica Comets 7 pm puck drop against the Charlotte Checkers, the Comets will honor those men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedoms, with their annual Military Appreciation Night.
Friday will feature an array of special moments, all aimed at thanking our country’s military for their service. Prior to puck drop, the Adirondack Bank Center will host an unveiling ceremony for a POW/MIA Chair Memorial that will be installed in the camera well near section 211. Rick Redmond, General Manager of the Adirondack Bank Center and a combat-disabled Veteran of the Armed Forces, will speak to an audience of veterans, personnel from The AUD, the AUD Authority, and more, on those servicemen and women who we hope will return to the US soon.
Pregame festivities will include two military vehicles parked on the AUD Plaza, a large American Flag on the ice during a rendition of God Bless America (courtesy of the Commercial Workers Union (CWA), with the flag held by 25 veterans and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi), a presentation of the colors from 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry Regiment of the New York Army National Guard, and a puck drop by Staff Sergeant Vincent Scalise, a current Active Duty Army National Guard Soldier and the Executive Director of the CNY Veteran’s Outreach Center.
Staff Sergeant Vincent Scalise is a combat veteran who is currently serving our country as an Infantry Operations Officer with the New York Army National Guard while also serving as the Executive Director of the CNY Veteran’s Outreach Center. Staff Sergeant Scalise takes great pride in providing services to our local veterans and their families. Sergeant Scalise was born and raised in Utica, New York and currently resides in Utica with his wife Jennifer and their children Andrew and Adrianna.
During the Hometown Hero promo, all fans who have served or are currently serving in the military will be asked to stand for an arena-wide ‘Hometown Hero’ celebration. Friday is also the first night of the Save of the Day Foundation ‘Star of the Game’ initiative, where, for a minimum $5 donation to Save of the Day, fans can fill out a Comets military-themed postcard that will be sent to Private First Class Zachery Rosenberger, a native of Herkimer, New York, who is currently serving overseas in Iraq with the United States Army. The SOD ‘Star of the Game’ table will be located in the concourse, and can be identified by looking for a standing mailbox.
In addition, any fan who purchases a 50/50 ticket on Friday will be entered to win a 2016 signed Michael Chaput Comets military jersey. The winning ticket will be drawn in the third period.
The Comets will also unveil a small collection of military-themed apparel that will be sold exclusively in The AUD’s team store. Be sure to follow the Comets social media later this week when we unveil some of our exclusive military night items.
Fans are also encouraged to submit photos of friends or family who have served or are currently serving in the military with his/her name and a short thank you message to VP of Creative Services Eric Kowiatek at firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of Friday’s game. Please put MILITARY NIGHT SHOUT-OUT in the subject line.
“It was a great honor to serve in our country’s Armed Forces and it’s a great privilege to serve as the General Manager of the Adirondack Bank Center, a building that memorializes those that have served,” expressed Redmond.
“Honoring our military is of the upmost importance to this organization, as well as to me personally,” added Comets President Robert Esche. “Throughout not only this year’s military night, but through the entire season, we have made it a priority to continually showcase and honor those who have made the greatest sacrifice to protect our freedoms.”