On March 20, 2012, the SAME Sacramento Post sponsored the Sacramento Kings Military Appreciation Night to support the men and women in uniform who serve our country. The Sacramento Kings, an NBA team based in Sacramento, Calif., played against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Post purchased 100 tickets, with more than 50 tickets designated for service members and their families from Beale Air Force Base, Travis Air Force Base and the National Guard. The remaining tickets were sold to Post members. A seating block in the premium lower reserve section at Power Balance Pavilion was reserved for service members.
The night was victorious for the Sacramento Kings as they earned a hard-fought victory over the visiting Grizzlies, with scores of 119 – 110. To conclude the night, Post and military service members were invited to walk to the center of the basketball court for a group photo immediately following the game. “The Sacramento Kings Military Appreciation Night event was a huge success for everyone involved,” said Doug Berwick, CH2M Hill, SAME Sacramento Post Director.
The organizers made sure the injured soldiers were well-equipped to practice and compete. SAME Fort Drum Post and VFW Post 1231 received loaned and donated sports equipment from many organizations who support initiatives dedicated to the disabled and mobility-challenged individuals interested in learning sled hockey. USA Hockey and Mobility Sports loaned eighteen sleds for the soldiers. Seven other sleds were donated by VFW, Fanning Technologies, Alzo Family, Carri-Mor, MAC Sports LTD., Knights of Columbus and SAME. The VFW Post 1231 and SAME Ft. Drum Post provided the team uniforms in desert and green camouflage. The uniforms proudly displayed the wounded warrior logo.
On the first day of the event, the ceremonial puck drop was performed by Tom Coakley. Coakley is a disabled Vietnam veteran who lost his leg in service. After the puck drop, a competitive game ensued between the 10th Mountain Division soldiers and the Syracuse CNY Flyers Sled Hockey Team. The game concluded with a celebratory post-game meal for all the soldiers and volunteers.
On the second day, the program continued with a clinic and game at the State University of New York (SUNY) Canton Ice Arena in Canton. Paul Schaus and John Uplinger, members of the USA National Development Team from Buffalo, N.Y. led the clinic drills. After the clinic, a ceremonious game opening was held. The teams lined up for introductions, following color guards from VFW Post 1231, Canton and from the Golden Knights ROTC program at Clarkson University. The ceremonial drop of the puck, again performed by Tom Coakley, preceded the spirited game between the two teams. Over 500 spectators packed the stands and cheered the men and women of Fort Drum Warriors in Transition Unit (WTU). The wounded soldiers maneuvered the sleds and handled the puck skillfully.
The Wounded Warrior Sled Hockey Clinic and Game also featured a raffle program and a silent auction. The auction consisted of items donated by National Hockey League (NHL) players, local businesses and local college and university teams. The silent auction and 50-50 raffle program raised an additional $4,000. These funds will be used to allow purchase of ice time for wounded soldiers to play sled hocky and to support travel expenses to games and events throughout the Northeast region.
Mark McKenna, Project Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District and SAME Post Secretary was the principal organizer for the event. According to McKenna, the event would not have been possible without the “overwhelming support and generous donations from the entire community.” In addition, the Post received a donation pledge of almost $16,500 to help the WTU wounded soldiers purchase more equipment. “We now have enough funds to purchase 30 sleds that can be used by soldiers to continue activities in this newfound passion.” Other donors included St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University, SUNY Canton, SUNY Potsdam, Syracuse University and Tony’s Canvas & Leather.
Click on the links above to find out what you can do to support injured soldiers.
In March, members of the Post attended and cheered for the RoboWarriors Club at the Frau POW! 4.0 Robotics Competition. The Frau POW! 4.0 Robotics Competition is just one of FIRST's many annual programs that culminate in an international robotics competition and celebration in the United States. According to Sandra Zettersten, Rhein Main Post President, "We could not be prouder of the kids! We are their most enthusiastic sponsors."
On Feb. 24, 2012, members of the SAME Northern Virginia Post and George Mason University (GMU) Student Chapter met with and encouraged budding engineers at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va.
The two-day event, called Engineering Day at Thomas Jefferson High school, or E Day at TJ for short, is an annual outreach event of the Post. Since 2008, Bill Kilpatrick, Ph.D., Vice President, SAME Northern Virginia Post, and other SAME Northern Virginia Post leaders have served as E Day at TJ guest speakers. The Post leaders provide students insight into the field of engineering by discussing career opportunities, college scholarships and other related topics. GMU Student Chapter members also attend the event every year.
Kilpatrick acknowledges the strong connection the GMU Student Chapter members foster with the high school students. He said that “the GMU Student Chapter members do an excellent job of filling the gap between the high school students and continuing members like me. They connect with the high school students on a more fundamental level because they have recently shared the same experiences and had the same questions as the high school students.”
This year, E Day at TJ was attended by about 60 students. During the Table Talk session, the Post and Student Chapter leaders took seats at different tables while students went from table to table to talk and ask questions. The opportunity to meet with SAME members, all at different points in their careers and focused on different engineering fields, gave the students an idea of what lies ahead should they pursue their interest in engineering. Laurie Kobick, College Career Center Specialist at TJ, said that the Table Talk session reaps the greatest benefit because it allows the students to sit down and talk with engineering undergraduates and professionals one-on-one. “Our kids, when looking at colleges, are primarily interested in engineering and the table talks were an enhancement and clarification of that."