DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings will host their ninth annual Military Appreciation Night, presented by Applebee's, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, when the team takes on the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. (FOX Sports Detroit, NBC Sports Network and 97.1 The Ticket).
"We are excited to be a part of Military Appreciation Night with the Red Wings," said Mark Schostak, whose family owns 66 Michigan Applebee's locations, "and we are proud to continue to honor servicemen and servicewomen year-round with Military Monday, when veterans and active duty military will receive a 30-percent discount on their food purchases all day every Monday at Applebee's."
More than 60 active and former military members selected by Volunteers of America Michigan will experience the game as guests of Applebee's and the Red Wings. Additionally, the first 5,000 fans in attendance on Military Appreciation Night will receive a tech T-shirt featuring a camouflage Red Wings logo and American flag, courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings.
Fans will also have an opportunity to support Volunteers of America Michigan through the purchase of an exclusive Detroit Red Wings camouflage winter hat on the main concourse level, and an online auction of camouflage player-used Red Wings Military Appreciation equipment. Proceeds from fundraising efforts will benefit Volunteers of America Michigan's Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. SSVF provides help for low-income veterans and their families in Michigan to prevent homelessness, or rapidly re-house those who are already homeless.
Activities for Military Appreciation Night, presented by Applebee's, include:
VIP TEAM PRACTICE EXPERIENCE & LUNCHEON
Prior to the game, the Red Wings and Applebee's will host more than 100 active and former military members for a VIP experience at Joe Louis Arena during the team's morning practice session at 10:30 a.m. After practice, guests will enjoy lunch in the Comerica Bank Legends Club provided by Applebee's and meet & greet opportunities with select Red Wings players. Each guest also receives a special Salute to Service fan package. For the game, Applebee's and the Red Wings will provide tickets to more than 60 active and former military members to experience Military Appreciation Night at Joe Louis Arena.
HONORARY PUCK DROP CAPTAIN
MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT W. SMITH III, US ARMY (RETIRED) Major General Robert W. Smith III last served as the State of Michigan, Director, Veterans' Services Division, Workforce Development Agency. Major General Smith has also served as a member of the Department of Defense Task Force on the Future of Military Health Care, Washington, DC. He is a past National President of the 75,000-member Reserve Officer Association, Washington, DC. and presently is a Past Vice President from the United States to CIOR (Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers), Brussels, Belgium, and current Chief United States Delegate to UPORFA (Union Pan Americana de Oficiales de Reserva de las Fuerzas Armadas), Buenos Aires, Argentina. Major General Smith retired with 34 years of military service. He has commanded from detachment to division level and served in many key staff positions at numerous levels of the Army. Major General Smith is a Vietnam War combat veteran and has received the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster to name a few of his decorations.
TECH T-SHIRT GIVEAWAY
The first 5,000 fans attending the game will receive a tech T-shirt featuring a camouflage Red Wings logo and American flag, courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings. Guests can pick up their tech T-shirt from distribution booths located near Sections 106, 112, 117 and 124.
"SHOW YOUR SUPPORT" SOCIAL MEDIA STATION
Fans are encouraged to show their support for the military community by visiting the "Show Your Support" social media station on the main concourse near Section 112 to share photos and videos via Facebook (facebook.com/detroitredwings), Instagram (@DetroitRedWings and @DRWCommunity) or Twitter (@DetroitRedWings) using the official hashtag #DRWSalute. Additionally, fans can share their story on Snapchat (@OfficialDRW) with the special Military Appreciation Night filter.
RED WINGS CAMOUFLAGE EQUIPMENT ONLINE AUCTION
Red Wings players will don Military Appreciation camouflage jerseys and use camouflage-taped hockey sticks during pregame warm-ups on Tuesday. The jerseys and sticks will then be auctioned at www.DetroitRedWings.com/Auction, with proceeds benefiting Volunteers of America Michigan. The online auction will run through Wednesday, Nov. 30.
DETROIT RED WINGS CAMO WINTER HAT SALE
In support of Volunteers of America Michigan's Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, fans can purchase a limited number of camouflage winter hats featuring the Detroit Red Wings logo. The hats will be available for purchase near Section 126 on the main concourse. The hats are available in two different sizes - Youth ($20) and Adult ($25). Proceeds from the hat sale will support the construction of SSVF offices in Detroit to provide an easily accessible location for veterans requiring services. Representatives from Volunteers of America Michigan will also be present to provide fans with more information on how to support the SSVF program.
DETROIT RED WINGS FOUNDATION 50/50 CHARITY RAFFLE
Fans can purchase Detroit Red Wings Foundation 50/50 Charity Raffle tickets from kiosks located near Sections 101, 116, and 126, or outside the International Bancard Olympia Club until the third period. Each winner receives 50 percent of the jackpot, with the remaining proceeds benefiting the Detroit Red Wings Foundation and Volunteers of America Michigan.
SALUTE TO SERVICE MOMENT
During the second television timeout of the first period, all service men and women in attendance will be recognized in-arena and encouraged to stand and be honored for their service to our country.
The Michigan Army National Guard will present the Colors during the National Anthem.
PRE AND IN-GAME EXPERIENCES
Active and former military members attending the game will enjoy many of the one-of-a-kind game day experiences at Joe Louis Arena, including Zamboni rides, pregame penalty box visits and in-game contests.
MICHIGAN WARRIORS HOCKEY
On Saturday, Nov. 19, the 2nd Annual Michigan Warriors vs. Detroit Red Wings Alumni charity hockey game will take place at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich., (14900 Beck Rd.) with proceeds supporting the Michigan Warriors Hockey Program. Volunteers from Michigan Warriors Hockey Program will be stationed on the concourse near Section 115 to provide information regarding this family-friendly event. For more information, please visit www.michiganwarriorshockey.com/drwa.
Applebee's (www.applebees.com) is the world's largest casual dining chain, with approximately 2,000 locations in 49 states, 16 countries and one U.S. territory. Based in Kansas City, Mo., Applebee's takes pride in providing a welcoming, neighborhood environment where everyone can enjoy the dining experience. Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar® is a DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN) brand, and is franchised and operated by Applebee's Services, Inc. and its affiliates.
Applebee's continues to honor servicemen and servicewomen year-round with Military Mondays, when veterans and active duty military will receive a 30 percent discount on their food purchases every Monday by presenting the Applebee's Military Mondays Discount Card.
About Volunteers of America Michigan
Volunteers of America Michigan is a faith-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Operating continuously in Michigan since 1896, the agency is the largest private provider of services to veterans in Michigan, with housing, employment services and homeless prevention for veterans and their families. Volunteers of America Michigan believes in the dignity of every person and is committed to assisting clients achieve self-sufficiency. To learn more, visit www.voami.org.