TYSONS, Va., Sept. 4, 2019 – PenFed Credit Union and the PenFed Foundation presented National Military Family Association (NMFA) with a $250,000 donation, represented by a PenFed-signed baseball bat, to support military families during pre-game activities at Nationals Park Tuesday, Sept. 3.
The donation will be used to fund NMFA’s initiatives, including an Operation Purple Buddy Camp in Trinity, Texas. Buddy Camp provides young military kids, ages 5-8, an opportunity to reconnect with a relative following a parent’s deployment or injury.
“PenFed has supported the national military community for 84 years. We are especially proud to continue our partnership with NMFA and show our appreciation for children of military families who make sacrifices every day during long deployments and time spent away from mom or dad,” said James Schenck, President and CEO of PenFed Credit Union and CEO of the PenFed Foundation. “PenFed’s partnership with NFMA is one of the best ways PenFed Credit Union and the PenFed Foundation say ‘thank you’ to these resilient children.”
PenFed celebrated military families throughout the evening at Nationals Park. Ahead of the game, eight children from military families, selected from a PenFed Foundation social media sweepstakes, joined the Nationals for batting practice and stood on the field alongside players during the National Anthem. Another lucky child from a military family announced the ceremonial “Play Ball!” atop the Nationals dugout before the first pitch against the New York Mets.
“We thank PenFed for always standing behind service members, their spouses and their children,” said NMFA Acting Executive Director Besa Pinchotti. “Military kids serve, too. We are tremendously grateful to PenFed for recognizing their sacrifice and making sure they’re celebrated and given unforgettable opportunities, whether at camp or a major league baseball game.”
Following the check presentation and on-field activities, the children and their families enjoyed the game in the PenFed Military Appreciation Section, located in right field at Nationals Park.
The PenFed Military Appreciation Section, in partnership with the Washington Nationals, provides a select number of complimentary tickets to active duty service members, veterans, and DOD-civilians for all regular season home games at Nationals Park. PenFed also sponsors the Kids Fun Zone play area frequented by thousands of military and civilian families each season at Nationals Park.
During select games, everyone in the section also receives a promotional item and “thank you” message. PenFed proudly gave 7,100 complimentary tickets as part of this program during the 2018 season.