ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Nothing beats the excitement of watching your favorite player knock one out of the park, and this season Budweiser is stepping up to the plate by helping the families of our nation’s heroes. For every home run hit during the 2011 Major League Baseball (MLB) season, Budweiser will donate $100 to the Folds of Honor Foundation (FHF), which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for families of U.S. military personnel killed or disabled while serving their country.
In addition to the “Here’s to the Heroes” Home Run Program, Budweiser will donate a portion of all sales from June 6 – July 10, in an effort to raise as much as $2 million for FHF. Consumers also will have the chance to get involved by visiting http://www.facebook.com/Budweiser or texting HERO to 80888 to make a $5 donation to the organization.
“The start of the season is always an exciting time for Budweiser and baseball fans around the country,” said Rob McCarthy, vice president of Budweiser at Anheuser-Busch. “Helping to provide educational scholarships to military families is one small way we can show our gratitude to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, protecting the freedoms we hold so dear. No matter who you root for on the field, we can all cheer for the work being done by Folds of Honor.”
Additionally, Budweiser will feature special patriotic cans in stores this summer and will debut a new television ad, scheduled to launch in May, to pay tribute to our military men and women.
Budweiser has been a sponsor of MLB since 1980 and is partnering with Hall of Fame slugger Dave Winfield to unveil the program today aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid located in the Hudson River in New York City. The efforts of our military men and women are near and dear to Winfield’s heart. His father served in World War II, and his maternal grandfather and uncle also served in the U.S. Army.
“In baseball, we often identify the heroes of the game as the players who can go deep, but real heroes are those who show their deep commitment to their country,” said Dave Winfield, who hit 465 home runs during his career. “Each time a player hits a home run this season, we all will have a chance to join Budweiser in honoring America’s true heroes and their families.”
Joining Winfield aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid will be Rocky Sickmann, director of military sales for Anheuser-Busch. Sickmann, as a young Marine Sergeant stationed at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran in 1979, was captured and held hostage for 444 days. Following his six years of military service, Sickmann joined Anheuser-Busch and, as a 26-year veteran of the company, he continues to be an ambassador for Budweiser’s programs that support the men and women of the armed forces.
Since its creation in 2007, FHF has provided more than 1,600 scholarships to recipients across the country. FHF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with the mission to empower deserving military families with educational support and opportunities. Their unique scholarships can be applied to schooling now or held by FHF on behalf of young children until needed at the time of enrollment.
“While we can never replace the loss of their loved ones, Budweiser’s support of our efforts will significantly expand our mission to help these deserving families,” said Major Dan Rooney, founder and president of the Folds of Honor Foundation.
About Folds of Honor
FHF was founded in May 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, a former F-16 Fighter Pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, PGA Professional, and USGA member. A decorated military pilot, Maj. Rooney has served three combat tours in Iraq. It was after his second tour, while a passenger on a commercial flight, that Maj. Rooney witnessed an event that would profoundly change his life. As the plane landed, the pilot announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have an American hero on board – Corporal Brock Bucklin. And his twin brother, Corporal Brad Bucklin, is accompanying him home from Iraq. As a sign of respect, please remain seated while Cpl. Bucklin’s family receives him in his final homecoming.” Maj. Rooney watched through the window of the plane as the flag-draped casket was lowered. He saw a family waiting for Brock, and a little four-year old boy waiting for his father. This tragic homecoming inspired Maj. Rooney to create the Folds of Honor Foundation. To learn more about FHF, visit http://www.foldsofhonor.org.