Opening day at Fenway is still weeks away, but the 2018 season has already been a hit for the fifteen Veterans who were invited to attend Fantasy Camp at JetBlue Park in January. The Veterans, all of whom are affiliated with Home Base’s Warrior Health & Fitness Program in Southwest Florida, spent the afternoon in batting practice before attending a barbeque dinner during the Home Run Derby.
Batting practice began at 3:30 pm at JetBlue Park, and the Veterans in attendance each got a chance to bat and catch fly balls for about an hour before dinner. The group had an opportunity to meet and speak with several former Red Sox players, including relief pitchers Alan Embree, Mike Timlin, and Jim Corsi.
This afternoon at the Park was made possible through Home Base’s partnership with the Red Sox Foundation. JetBlue Park at Fenway South recently played host to the second annual Run to Home Base Florida, which provides runners and walkers a chance to cross home plate as the team begins arriving for spring training. Extending the Fantasy Camp invitation to the Warrior Health & Fitness participants was the perfect way to kick off a weekend dedicated to the Home Base mission of healing the invisible wounds for Veterans, Service Members, and their families in the area.
“The work that Home Base has been able to do here in Southwest Florida has been tremendous,” says Katie Haas, Vice President of Florida Business Operations for the Boston Red Sox. “The Red Sox are proud to partner with Home Base each year in order to give back to those that have given so much for our country.”
The fifteen Veterans in attendance all hailed from the Fort Myers/Southwest Florida region, and were either currently enrolled in or previously affiliated with the Warrior Health & Fitness Program. The free, six-month program was designed to help Post-9/11 Veterans improve their physical health and well-being through supervised physical exercise, education about healthy eating, living, sleep hygiene, stress management and the health benefits of physical activity.
“This is the first year that Home Base has been able to be part of Fantasy Camp,” says Monique Hashimoto, Home Base’s Southwest Florida Project and Administrative Coordinator. “It was a wonderful opportunity for this group to come together for something other than a workout right here in the heart of Fort Myers.”
Though the Warrior Health & Fitness program was founded as a fitness and wellness program, it has come to represent something more – a community. It was a special day for all in attendance.
The next installment of the Southwest Florida Warrior Health & Fitness Program launches March 31st, 2018. Please visit homebase.org/swfl for more information.