Lee Baseball To Host Military Appreciation Day

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Lee University baseball coach Mark Brew, his staff and players have once again joined with local businesses and the Cleveland community to host the annual Military Appreciation Day on Saturday (April 20). Veterans of all branches of the armed forces will be honored.

The event is slated for 12:15 at Larry Carpenter Stadium. Fans and veterans are encouraged to arrive at park by Noon. The stadium is located directly behind Ocoee Middle School.

This will be the 12th year the Flames and Lee University have teamed together to host the event that has raised over $100,000 for local military organizations during that time.

“I think that is really neat,” Brew said.
“It shows the businesses in the community are invested in what is going on. It also shows the people in the community are invested and want to say thanks to these people that are true heroes.”

The Bank of Cleveland has teamed with the baseball team each year to help sponsor the event. Scott Taylor, son of the late Bobby Taylor, said he knows his father would be proud to be associated with the event that benefits local veteran’s organizations.

Bobby Taylor was a veteran of World War II, where he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps — flying an untold number of perilous bombing missions over Nazi Germany. Taylor also gave his time, talents, and courage to the Army National Guard in the Korean War.

“My dad would be so proud to know his love of and respect for the military is not only continued through the scholarship, but through an event like this where veterans are honored for their service,” Scott Taylor said.

Each year a scholarship is presented to a Lee student in honor of the late Bobby Taylor. The scholarship goes to a student, who is either a member of one of the branches or has a family member who serves or is a veteran. This year the George R. “Bobby” Taylor Memorial Scholarship recipient is junior nursing student Hannah Robbins of Maryville, Tenn. whose father served in the military.

Schedule of Events

12:15- Veterans brought onto the field to be honored.

12:20 Remarks to veterans from Tennessee State Senator Adam Lowe

12:30 Armed Forces Medley music

12:35 Presentation of Plaques to local Military Recruiters

12:40 Presentation of the Bobby Taylor Memorial Scholarship

12:45 Moment of Silence/Prayer – Dr. David Smartt – Professor of Business at Lee University/Retired US Army Colonel Chaplain

12:47 Presentation of Colors – Scottish American Military Society

12:50 National Anthem – former Marine fighter pilot Captain Tom Wickes

12:53 Ceremonial 1st Pitch – Jimmie Doughten United States Navy and Disabled American Veterans Senior Vice Commander

1:00 Game vs Delta State

The baseball team has presented funds to local veterans’ organizations and in the past have helped the Bradley County Honor Guard and the Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council. This year, the team will donate money to the Disabled Veterans of America Chapter 25 located in Cleveland.

“The DAV has done a tremendous job in our community with veterans in providing wheelchair ramps and construction projects and things like that,” said coach Brew.

The coach stressed that he is appreciative of seeing all the money donated through the game going to an organization that will use it for local service members and servicewomen.

“The thing I love most is even though it's a national organization, 100% of the proceeds that happen here in our event will be used here in our community,” Brew added. “It will be a full day of fun, entertainment, and baseball for the veterans, their families, the kids, and fans.”

There will be free bags with gifts for all veterans. Cleveland Tent will provide a kid’s zone with inflatables. Zaxby’s will have a tent providing free food for veterans, and food for purchase for others. Chick-Fil-A will be on hand with free brownie samples. Other vendors set up in park area will include recruiters from different branches of service.

A Silent Auction with lots of Major League Baseball memorabilia is always a highlight. Lee baseball apparel and sports camps will be available. The Chattanooga Lookouts VIP package, and many other items will be up for bid.
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