Reading native Max McMillan is gearing up to cross home plate at Fenway Park this summer for the fourth time. He isn’t a professional baseball player—he is a community member who supports Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program. Home Base works to heal the invisible wounds of war for Post-9/11 Veterans, Service Members and their Families through world-class clinical care, wellness, education and research. Their biggest fundraiser is the Run to Home Base, presented by New Balance—a 9K race on July 23rd that gives begins and ends at Fenway Park, with a photo finish as participants cross home plate.
“Before the race begins, Veterans who have been helped by Home Base talk about their experiences and how their lives have changed through treatment. Hearing what the Home Base Program has done for them is just incredible,” said McMillan. “I’m a diehard Boston sports fan and although the games and the championships are great– they’re just games. People in the military risk their lives for us. And here they are cheering and shaking your hand in uniform as you cross home plate. This is a great way to say thank you to the real heroes.”
To McMillan, one of those heroes is his lifelong friend, retired Brigadier General Jack Hammond, also from Reading. Hammond spent 30 years in the Army, deploying to both Afghanistan and Iraq. McMillan and Hammond met when they were young Rockets– playing Pop Warner football in the 4th grade.
“Reading was a really unique place to grow up, we formed really tight friendships. I signed up for the Run to Home Base my first year to support Jack, as both a Veteran and my friend. But, now I want to do more. I created Team GJH for 2016 to inspire others to run with me and raise funds for Home Base. We have 20 runners so far and counting,” said McMillan.
Team GJH’s fundraising goal is $50,000, which is $48,000 more than what McMillan’s raised as an individual runner for the race last year. In order to reach this goal and alleviate the stress of meeting the minimum fundraising requirement that he feels might intimidate new team members, McMillan has organized a fundraising event.
The 1st Annual Team GJH Fundraiser will be held on June 11th at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury, Massachusetts. For just $50 a ticket, attendees will receive a cocktail hour, dinner, speech from Brig. Gen. Jack Hammond and live music from indie rock band, Hug the Dog. Also on the agenda for the fundraiser is a silent auction and raffle. McMillan hopes to have at least 200 people join Team GJH for the night of fun, music, and dancing to raise money for the team and Home Base.
In addition to the fundraiser, McMillan hopes to find a corporate sponsor. He has applied for corporate sponsorship from local businesses through the Reading Chamber of Commerce and is awaiting positive responses. Corporate backing would not only help Team GJH achieve their fundraising goal, but also raise awareness for the run. “These service members are risking their lives,” McMillan said. “There’s not a lot of ways to say thank you and show you appreciate all that they do. Participating in the Run to Home Base is one way to not only demonstrate that appreciation, but make a difference.”
To purchase a ticket to the First Annual GJH Fundraiser, mail your general admission fee of $50 or reserved seating fee of $75 as a check payable to Maximum Enterprises with Team GJH in the memo section to Max McMillan at 14 Meadowfox Road, North Hampton, NH 03862. To donate to the team directly visit http://donate.runtohomebase.org/2016RuntoHomeBase/teamGJH For more information on the 2016 Run to Home Base presented by New Balance visit www.runtohomebase.org. To learn more about the Home Base Program go to homebase.org
About Home Base:
Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program, is dedicated to healing the invisible wounds for Post-9/11 Veterans, Service Members and their families through world-class clinical care, wellness, education and research. As a National Center of Excellence, Home Base operates the largest private-sector clinic in the nation devoted to healing invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, co-occurring substance use disorder, military sexual trauma and family relationship challenges. Since its inception, Home Base has served more than 9,000 Veterans and family members with care and support, trained more than 25,000 clinicians, educators and community members nationally and remains at the forefront of discovering new treatments– ensuring a brighter future for the 21st century warrior and military family. For more information please visit homebase.org