The Rochester Knighthawks will host their annual Military Appreciation Night game this Saturday at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.
The Knighthawks will face their Thruway rivals the Buffalo Bandits at 7:30 p.m.
The Veterans Outreach Center is a sponsor for the game. Executive Director Laura Stradley, along with Knighthawks defenseman Brad Gillies and VP of Sales John Catalano discussed the event Thursday during News 8 at Noon.
“We’re really excited to be a part of this,” said Stradley. “It’s a partnership that we’ve had with the Knighthawks for the last couple of years, and they’re incredibly supportive to us. It’s going to be an opportunity for anybody who is active duty military, veterans, reservists to come and enjoy the game at no cost.”
The VOC will benefit from proceeds of the event to support its programs and some big renovations planned for 2018. “We’ve got a couple of facilities that house homeless male veterans that are in an emergency type situation,” Stradley said. “On any given night we’ve got 20 men staying in our Richards House, and then we also have another transitional living facility called Otto House, and that’s more apartment style. We’ve got eight men on any given night who stay there. We are going to renovate those facilities from top to bottom this year. It’s going to cost us probably a couple of million dollars, so we’re looking for as much support from the community as we can get on it, but it’s so needed and so deserved I think by the men who stay there.”
Last year, the Knighthawks donated $17,500 to the Veterans Outreach Center. Gillies wore one of the jerseys that will be auctioned off during Saturday’s game. “They’re really cool,” he said. “They’ve got the shoulder crest from the 98th Infantry Division that was stationed here in Rochester throughout the 1900’s so it’s a pretty cool thing to be able to tie that into our jerseys.”
The Bandits will also wear special jerseys for the game. “We’d like to thank them because they’re willing to wear their special jerseys as well which we auction off,” said Catalano. “If you’re at the game and you win the jersey, you can actually go and get it right from the player right off their back and they’ll sign it for you right there. And anyone who isn’t at the game and would like to be a part of the auction, you can go online to knighthawks.com/auction to do that, and if you just want to donate there will also be the opportunity to just hit ‘donate now’ on that auction site.”
To reserve your ticket for Saturday’s game, call (585) 454-4295.
For more information about the game, click here.
For more information about the Veterans Outreach Center, click here.