COLUMBIA, SC – In advance of Independence Day, the Columbia Fireflies today announced a campaign to retire the medical debt of veterans across the state. More than 700 veteran families have a combined $800,000 in medical debt in South Carolina, and the team and its fans will have the opportunity to help in this community-wide effort.
“Columbia is known as the ‘Most Military Friendly Community in America’ for many reasons,” said Fireflies team president John Katz. “Every American can appreciate the sacrifices our military heroes have made, and now we have an opportunity to pay it forward.”
The kickoff for the campaign will begin on July 4th, as the Fireflies celebrate Independence Day at Spirit Communications Park. Specially-designed red, white and blue jerseys – first worn by the team on Fort Jackson Night, June 5th – will be auctioned off during the game. 100% of the proceeds from the auction will benefit our veterans in need.
RIP Medical Debt, a nationally-recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charity, was established in 2014 to locate, purchase and forgive unpaid and unpayable medical debt. Our campaign, which will be funded by events such as the jersey auction, will provide RIP Medical Debt the funds to buy South Carolina veteran medical debt and abolish it, with no strings attached for the beneficiaries.
This program provides debt relief for those in our military community that need it most. To qualify, veteran medical debt has been identified for people who meet the following criteria: 1) people who make less than 2x the Federal poverty level; 2) people with financial hardship – a debt that is 5% or more of their annual income; and 3) people who are insolvent.
In addition to the jersey auction on July 4th, fans will have additional opportunities to give:
July 4 – July 9: The Fireflies will be holding a “Text to Give” campaign at Spirit Communications Park during the week of Independence Day, where fans will have the opportunity to text a donation.
Additional opportunities will be announced later this season.
Tickets for the July 4th Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks Extravaganza are on sale now. Visit FirefliesTickets.com, the Spirit Communications Park ticket office or call (803) 726-4487 for more information.
About the Columbia Fireflies
The Columbia Fireflies are the South Atlantic League affiliate of the New York Mets. Winners of Ballpark Digest’s Best New Branding and Logo Award in 2016, the Fireflies play games across the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions, including against in-state rivals in Charleston and Greenville. The team partnered with the city of Columbia and Hughes Development to construct Spirit Communications Park, a multi-use outdoor sports and entertainment venue at the center of the BullStreet development. The Columbia Fireflies are owned by Hardball Capital, owners of the Fort Wayne TinCaps of the Midwest League and the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League. For more information, visit ColumbiaFireflies.com, or follow the Fireflies on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About Spirit Communications Park
Spirit Communications Park, the 2016 Ballpark Digest Ballpark of the Year, is a 365-day per year multi-use sports and entertainment venue located in the heart of downtown Columbia, SC. Spirit Communications Park is the home ballpark for the Columbia Fireflies, the South Atlantic League affiliate of the New York Mets. Designed for baseball, concerts, football, soccer and a host of other activities, the venue seats approximately 9,000 for sporting events and up to 15,000 for major outdoor concerts. With 16 luxury suites and a 7,000 square-foot Club Level Lounge, Spirit Communications Park can also host everything from business meetings to wedding receptions, and everything in between. The venue is open 365 days a year and serves as a public park with the wrap-around concourse representing 1/3 of a mile for walkers and joggers. For more information, visit SpiritCommunicationsPark.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.