For the children of those who serve
Raytheon and the Texas Legends raise funds to educate military children
The Texas Legends were playing their hearts out, but for the military families at the game, the real action was on the sidelines.
It was the last weekend of NBA D-league basketball, and all around the arena concourse, kids and parents were enjoying special activities set up just for them, including a bouncy house and a hula hoop station.
On April 3, Raytheon and the Texas Legends hosted Charity Jersey Night at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas. The mission: to promote the Military Child Education Coalition, a nonprofit that helps ensure quality educational opportunities for America's four million children of service families -- children who share the sacrifices of separation and transition that are part of military life.
"The idea is to support a cause that helps America's warfighters by helping their families," said Gary LaMonte, vice president of Human Resources and Security at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems.
Raytheon has a rich tradition of commitment to supporting active duty personnel, veterans and military families, and is active in the promotion of education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The Texas Legends event was not just for kids. A dozen businesses set up stands around the arena concourse to meet with veterans in a "Resume Roundup," designed to connect with local job opportunities. The Texas Legends supplied space for the roundup free of charge.
Veterans who work at Raytheon joined with the American Legion for a flag-folding ceremony. During half-time, the sold-out crowd heard the national anthem played for each branch of the military, followed by a free-throw contest and a silent auction for game night jerseys.
The money raised at the event will help send up to four high school team members and a faculty/sponsor to participate in the MCEC National Training Seminar, July 30th-31st in Washington, D.C.
"The military folks that serve can't do it without their families," said Jim Meiseman, a Raytheon employee and former service member who attended the event. "They have to have their support, and anything that helps a veteran and their family assimilate back into civilian life is a good thing."
Since 1986, April has been designated the month of the military child. More than four million military-connected children live with the perpetual challenges presented by frequent moves and the absences of parents and siblings who are being deployed. MCEC serves these children from birth into adulthood with training programs and resources for parents, educators and other organizations worldwide.
"There's really no replacing the level of visibility we have gotten by partnering with Raytheon," said Cindy Simerly, MCEC vice president of fund development and marketing. "I'm an active duty Army wife and mother of two military kids of my own, and seeing Raytheon pulling together with the community to support all members of the military and their families is incredibly heartwarming."