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Wounded Warrior Project® 




May 2017


An afternoon at the ballpark or a night under arena lights are common activities for most college sports fans, but for Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) these experiences are something much greater. The recently released WWP 2016 Annual Impact Report highlights the impact of support and contributions to WWP initiatives while featuring survey results of WWP warriors and their families. One of the many findings concluded 52 percent of warriors feel they don’t have personal relationships with other people, and 89 percent indicate that their physical health or emotional problems interfere with normal social activities. These numbers showcase the importance of connecting warriors with one another.

Collegiate sporting events are an opportunity for colleges and universities to empower warriors by providing a venue that encourages veterans to engage with their communities and fellow wounded warriors.

This 2016-17 season, the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) organizers welcomed veterans and their families throughout their men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. From quarterfinals to championships, warriors were offered VIP courtside seats and a bag of WAC swag. Enjoying the game together allowed the attendees to bond over their affinity for sports and offered a setting for them to share stories and experiences with one another. When invited to center court for a moment of recognition, the veterans walked together and stood side by side as the audience applauded their military service and sacrifice. Amidst bright arena lights and a cheering crowd, these men and women were strengthened, not just by the respect of their community, but by the shared support of one another./p>

To create a game day experience to empower WWP veterans to connect with their peers, please contact Jenn Leone at Jenn@themeridiangroup.com.




April 2017


Basketball season is more than a chance for college students and fans to revel in school spirit. A night spent in the company of fellow fans, cheering for the home team, offers Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans an empowering once-in-a- lifetime experience. Many of our nation’s heroes struggle with transitioning back into civilian life after combat, and collegiate sporting events are a great way for veterans to feel appreciated and honored for their sacrifice.

Seton Hall University recently celebrated Army veteran Kevin Woodcheke at a Pirate’s men’s basketball evening game. During a pause in the action, the PA system crackled as a hush fell across Prudential Center and Woodcheke rose to receive recognition for his service. The silence was quickly consumed by roaring applause as the crowd jumped to their feet in overwhelming appreciation of Woodcheke’s accolades and sacrifice. His guests, an entourage of supportive co-workers, enthusiastically joined the cheers in honor of their friend.

Dan Ditusa, graduate assistant for Seton Hall Athletics Marketing & Promotions, worked with WWP to coordinate the event. “It has really made a huge impact on my life and even more so on the veterans that we are able to recognize,” Ditusa said.

To host a collegiate sports event and learn more about inviting WWP veterans to enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences, please contact Jenn Leone at Jenn@themeridiangroup.com.




March 2017


Athletics departments across the country continue to rise to the occasion by honoring Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) on game days. These events leave a lasting impression on injured service members as they work to cope with and understand their new normal.

The University of Michigan took an altruistic approach to the new year by honoring Navy veteran Rebecca Felkey during their January 4 men’s basketball game vs. Penn State. With her loyal service dog in tow, Felkey walked proudly to center court at Crisler Center as the Wolverines invited her to receive recognition for her military service. She offered a humble, appreciative wave while the crowd erupted in a standing ovation, expressing gratitude for her sacrifice and accomplishments.

Plan now to create a spring sports game day experience that empowers our service members. To host an event and learn more about inviting WWP veterans to enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience, please contact Amara Betoney at amara@themeridiangroup.com.




February 2017


Colleges and universities are lining up to support wounded veterans by extending special game-day opportunities to Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). The recovery process for injured veterans poses both emotional and physical challenges. Reaching out to WWP veterans and their families through these VIP opportunities provides much-needed support as they acclimate to civilian life.

In January, the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) Prairie Stars celebrated the tenacious spirit of injured service members during Wounded Warrior Night at the men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader. It may have been a bitter winter day outside, but inside the Recreation and Athletic Center five local service members were welcomed with warmth and gratitude from spectators and team members in recognition of their military accomplishments. The honorees, accompanied by one faithful service dog, received a standing ovation as they were invited on-court to be personally greeted and thanked by players and staff from the UIS men’s basketball team. With special courtside seats to catch all of the action, the veterans served as the guests of honor for both the women’s and men’s basketball games.

Army veteran Ashti Dawson was among the five honored service members. “Attending this event as a veteran as well as a current UIS student was one of my greatest honors to date!” said Dawson. “The amount of pride exemplified from the audience, the basketball teams, as well as the support staff was absolutely wonderful, warming, and positively enduring. I am beyond thankful to have had this opportunity! Thank you, UIS and WWP!!”

To host a basketball event and learn more about inviting WWP veterans to enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience, please contact Amara Betoney at amara@themeridiangroup.com.



January 2017


Colleges across the nation are assisting injured service members by offering VIP experiences at college sporting events. These events are often life-changing for Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans as they make the difficult transition back into civilian life.

This season, Northwestern University stepped up to the plate to honor a local injured veteran at every home basketball game. Bright lights reflected off the basketball court as Sterling Pollard entered Welsh-Ryan Arena and was escorted on-court for the national anthem. As the anthem played, Sterling was filled with a sense of pride after being recognized publicly for his service while his military accomplishments were broadcast to an enthusiastic crowd.

Plan now to create a game day experience that empowers our service members on their journeys to recovery. For more information, please contact Amara Betoney at amara@themeridiangroup.com.