Happy Independence Day, everyone!
Hope you are not reading this until after chowing down massive amounts of hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, and apple pie, and downing a few choice beverages.
Just wanted to address something, as there is a lot of anger about the Mets — and every other MLB team — wearing red hats this weekend.
First, they are NOT leftover Phillies hats. They’re hats produced specifically to honor our military veterans and troops (well, “our” meaning “US” … I wonder how the Blue Jays fans feel about this?).
Second, MLB is not raking in extra profits as a result of the sales of these special hats. Quite the contrary, in fact.
In a remarkably uncharacteristic move, MLB is donating ALL proceeds of the sales of these hats, AND kicking in an extra dollar for every hat sold, to Welcome Back Veterans, a program which addresses the mental health and job needs of returning American Veterans.
Welcome Back Veterans was created by New York Mets Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Fred Wilpon and a group of private citizens. Supported by Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and the McCormick Foundation, the goal of Welcome Back Veterans is to raise $100 million and provide 100,000 job opportunities for Veterans.
With its second round of grants in April 2009, Welcome Back Veterans has awarded $5.5 million in grants to 24 non-profit agencies across the country targeting veterans’ greatest needs, including mental health and job training/placement. Welcome Back Veterans has teamed with the University Hospitals of Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, the University of Michigan and Stanford University, which are developing treatment procedures for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health issues of returning Veterans and their families. In addition, Welcome Back Veterans is working closely with corporate America to provide 100,000 job opportunities for returning Veterans.
For additional information on Welcome Back Veterans, please go to www.welcomebackveterans.org.
Hard to believe, I know. Usually Bud Selig and the Wilpons are trying to suck every last dollar from our pockets in the name of profit. But in this case, it appears that the right thing is being done.
Additionally, it’s helpful to know that Bernie Madoff can’t be managing the Welcom Back Veterans funds from his jail cell.