2017 Nominee – Darren O’DayDarren O’Day
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Orioles’ pitcher, Darren O’Day has been a strong supporter of military personnel in the Baltimore area for the past several years.
Darren donates $2,500 every year towards the Orioles Military Sunday Suite program, where every Sunday home game, the Orioles donate a catered private suite to wounded soldiers and other active duty and veteran military organizations. Guests are also recognized during the game and receive Orioles player T‐shirts. The group is also invited to the field for Orioles batting practice where they receive a special meet and greet with Darren and other participating players of the Orioles.
For the fourth consecutive season, O’Day will make a donation based on his on‐field performance to Luke’s Wings, a non‐profit military organization dedicated to the support of current and former service members who have been wounded in battle. O’Day will donate $50 for every batter he strikes out. He has raised $10,010 in 2013, 2014 and 2015 combined.
Luke’s Wings provides families with the means to visit injured service members during their hospitalization and rehabilitation. By purchasing travel agency services and travel tickets for loved ones, Luke’s Wings provides an immediate and invaluable service to the families of our men and women at arms while also helping to encourage and motivate the service member’s recovery or provide comfort during the final stages of life. Luke’s Wings also partners with other non‐profits who can provide other free or discounted services, including accommodations, meals and local entertainment.
In addition financial support, Darren also gives his time. On Saturday, May 14, the Orioles conducted a clinic for 100 Little Leaguers from Ft. Meade. O’Day, along with fellow current and former Orioles helped teach baseball with the support of Fort Meade Little League coaches. Four stations throughout the clinic highlighted pitching, fielding, baserunning and hitting. In addition to training, each child was able to enjoy refreshments provided by the Mobile USO. The Orioles gave each participant an Orioles hat and T‐shirt, and the club has also donated tickets to clinic participants for a future Orioles game. This was the second year in a row Darren has visited the clinic.