Another home run Night at Citi Field with enCourage Kids and the New York Mets!
Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, was packed with over 900 enCourage Kids fans celebrating our 14th Annual Night at Citi Field on June 15th. The evening was filled with smiles, especially after the Mets brought home a 10-2 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
More than 400 enCourage kids and family members enjoyed pre-game festivities, starting with a barbecue in the Bullpen Gate, sponsored by Aramark. Children sported the New York Mets logo and different animal face paintings, provided by Looney Lenny’s Clown-o-rific. Looney Lenny himself entertained families with magic and laughs throughout the evening while volunteers handed out enCourage Kids t-shirts and foam fingers.
As per tradition, Mr. Met stole the show when he arrived to greet families. He posed for a photo op with our enCourage kids, families, and the Mets’ Wives. One of the most exciting parts of the evening was watching our enCourage kid Hannah throw out the first pitch to begin the game.
“I’ve been a Mets fan all my life and it was very special for me to be on the field and throw out the first pitch!” Hannah shared. “Even though I practiced for weeks, I was very nervous because there were lots of people I didn’t know watching me. I felt like a hero standing on the pitcher’s mound.”
We would not have been able to provide this amazing night without the contributions and donations from this year’s sponsors, including the New York Mets, who provided 900 tickets to our organization for distribution to donors and the children and families in our program.
For enCourage mom Jane and daughter Indira, attending this event is an escape from everyday life. Over the years the pair has been able to attend three of our Mets outings. “Coming to these events makes you relax. You meet and listen to other families and what they are going through and it is a relief just being at these games,” Jane explained.
“Life is so hectic, but any event that we go to is so relaxing – it’s stress free. You don’t have to worry about anything. What enCourage Kids does for the families is wonderful,” Jane shared.
Nights and outings like this allow many families to come together and bond in a way that they may not be able to at home. “When Zion got diagnosed, everybody was so all over the place, nobody could cope with it but this definitely helps. We start doing more together and they see what family is about when we are at these events,” shared enCourage mom Marina.
Marina and Zion, along with the rest of their family, have been going to the Citi Field game for five years. “There is nothing that I can’t say about enCourage Kids. We meet different families, we exchange stories and you start living in a world where these people understand you and you understand them and we really enjoy and look forward to coming to these events.”
Kids, parents, and donors alike root, root, rooted for the home team from the Big Apple section of the stadium. Each individual, old friends and new, became one big enCourage Kids cheering section, which helped bring home a big win for the Mets that evening. “Thank you enCourage kids for a very special night that I will always remember – and the Mets WON!” Hannah exclaimed.
Thank you to our generous sponsors: New York Mets, Aramark, Cougar Capital LLC, Ernst & Young, Excel Global Security, The Donut Pub, Feil Family Foundation, Scheman & Grant, Clear Channel Outdoor, Principal Building Services, and Savanna Fund.
The night would not have been possible without you!