Suffolk, Home Base Honor Veterans at Red Sox Spring Training Game

Fort Myers, FL – Home Base Florida, a local nonprofit founded by the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital, dedicated to supporting veterans and military families impacted by the invisible wounds of war, partnered with the Red Sox Foundation to celebrate its mission and honor veterans and their families at a Red Sox Spring Training game on March 23. The Suffolk Cares Foundation, the charitable arm of Suffolk, presented the evening that saw the Boston Red Sox prevail over the Minnesota Twins at JetBlue Park at Fenway South.

(l-r): Michael Allard, COO, Home Base; Larry Rice, Suffolk senior estimator and Army veteran; Fred Franks, U.S. Army general (retired) and honorary director, Home Base Florida; Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster; Jack Hammond, U.S. Army brigadier general (retired) and executive director, Home Base; Armando Hernandez, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and senior director, Home Base Florida; Dr. Ron Hirschberg, MD, medical director of Brain Health Services at Home Base; and Karianne Kraus, chief development officer, Home Base; at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla. / Photo by Adventurer’s Design, LLC

The Red Sox Foundation donated more than 150 tickets for Home Base Florida veterans and their families to participate in the evening’s activities, which included an opportunity to walk onto the field and participate in the pregame ceremony, and be honored for their service. Home Base Florida participant, retired U.S. Army veteran Alberto Padron, threw out the ceremonial first pitch and his family kicked off the game, officially declaring, “Play ball!”

Padron later joined Home Base Florida senior leadership for a special reception at which he shared with a group of more than 90 Home Base Florida community champions his experience in the military, his challenges transitioning to civilian life, and how Home Base Florida helped him and his family.

“Home Base is a haven for all veterans in need of support, regardless of their individual journeys,” said Padron. “What I enjoy most about Home Base events is the sense of community. With veterans, the connection is often instantaneous. Home Base creates these community-building opportunities bringing with it a sense of belonging that we all need for our overall wellness. I’m better for it. I believe Southwest Florida is better for it, too.”

Reception guests included supporters; board members; representatives from Home Base Florida’s strategic partners (YMCA, David Lawrence Centers and Lee Health); and the event’s presenting sponsor, Suffolk and its Suffolk Cares Foundation. The event was part of a $150,000 gift over a period of three years from Suffolk Cares that directs funds to support Home Base activations both nationally and in Massachusetts and Florida. In addition, Suffolk is working with Home Base to help grow the veteran service program’s national reputation and brand by facilitating relationships and advocating for long-term sustainable funding and greater national visibility.

“Suffolk has a longstanding relationship with Home Base, and shares with it the values of integrity and hard work on which our nation was founded,” said Pete Tuffo, president of the Gulf Coast Region and National Gaming at Suffolk. “In addition to events like this and volunteer opportunities for our employees, Suffolk’s contribution will help Home Base continue to provide world-class clinical care to veterans and their families.”