Born on July 4th, 1930, George Steinbrenner was patriotic from his first breath. In his adult life, especially as owner of the New York Yankees, Mr. Steinbrenner and the entire Steinbrenner family have never hid their appreciation for those who served the United States of America; this is true for both military and civil servants. Whether it’s ‘God Bless America’ during the 7th inning stretch, the nightly honoring of a military veteran, or even the Silver Shield Foundation which was established to assist with the educational costs of the children of fallen Police/Fire/EMS, patriotism and gratitude are never in short supply. A few years back, Brothers Before Others highlighted how the Yankee organization even took a page from our playbook, quietly sending floral arrangements to police line of duty death services.
So, it goes without saying that, when Brothers Before Others sought to facilitate a ‘Law Enforcement Appreciation Night’ at a baseball stadium, looking within the New York Yankees family seemed only natural. Having coordinated family related events with them in the past, the Somerset Patriots immediately stepped up.
On July 7th, 2023, Brothers Before Others will be sponsoring the Somerset Patriots’ first ever ‘Law Enforcement Appreciation’ night. While the unique night and experiences in store are still evolving, here is just a sampling of what is already planned:
- National Anthem performed by Phillipsburgh High School Senior, Danica Marie Finken, escorted by members of the Phillipsburg Chapter of the national nonprofit, “B.A.C.K.” – Bikers Against Cop Killers.
- The colors will be presented by the Phillipsburg Police Department Honor Guard, accompanied by the Bergen County Pipes and Drums.
- The New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit will be conducting a ceremonial ‘fly-over’.
- There will be a custom give-away designed by Lazer Werks LLC available at the Brothers Before Others table, which will be located on the main concourse next to the 50/50 table, of which BBO is the recipient charity of that night.
The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by Kerry Varvaro, the wife of former Major League Baseball pitcher and Port Authority Police Officer, Anthony Varvaro, who was tragically killed on 9/11/22 when, on his way into work that morning, his vehicle was struck by a wrong-way drunk driver.
On April 14th, 2023, the Snug Harbor Little League, which Anthony served as the President of until his passing, held a ceremony to dedicate their $2.2 million dollar renovated field to Anthony and his legacy. As an outward sign of just who Anthony was as a man, father, brother, son and member of his community, ALL of the monies needed were PRIVATELY raised or donated in Anthony’s name. The project, which was once Anthony’s vision and appeared to require years to accomplish, was completed in mere months.
Brothers Before Others was honored to have been invited to the dedication, at which BBO President and Founder, Michael Burke, donated 500 tickets to the July 7th game to the little league. Michael said afterwards, “If you were lucky enough to have seen the turnout for the dedication in Anthony’s honor, you couldn’t hep but feel how important Anthony was to his family and the entire Snug Harbor community. More importantly, you immediately understood how important baseball was to Anthony and how much of himself he gave to pass that on to the kids who he coached and mentored. It seemed only fitting that we allow as many of them as possible to enjoy the game and be there to support Kerry and her entire family as she honors her husband.”
July 7th is a fitting date for us to be honoring law enforcement for another reason, as well. That day marks the 7th anniversary of the day that 5 Dallas-area police officers were assassinated while protecting a protest march organized by the Next Generation Action Network. The impact of that day and void their loss created is still felt today.
The night will conclude as many do at TD Bank Park, with a second-to-none fireworks display mere days from the 4th of July.
With tickets still available, we encourage anyone who supports our charity or law enforcement as a whole to head to the Somerset Patriots’ page and plan both a meaningful and exciting night out. If you are interested in partnering with Brothers Before Others in any way as it relates to the game/night itself, if you have a way that you feel the night can be enhanced or for any questions or concerns, please contact our President direct: firstname.lastname@example.org.