terry charles | behind the stage | dec. 2018
I think we all agree being a good community member is something good businesses do. After all, no business would succeed without the support of their customers. A community that keeps you in business for a long time means it makes sense that you give back to the community. PMI Entertainment Group and the Green Bay Gamblers especially feel that way. PMI owns the Gamblers and for the past several years, veterans have been one of our big beneficiaries. There are many awesome charitable organizations out there today, but it's hard to argue any group is more deserving than the group that sacrificed so much for our freedom.
I mean the name of our arena is the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena. This corner of the county has always had a special spot for veterans and it also includes the large Brown County Veterans Memorial alongside the arena. I think veterans feel the same.
Our complex has hosted a Veterans Day ceremony every year for as long as I can remember. Then, starting in 2013 the Gamblers began hosting a Military Night. This year's game is on Saturday, December 8. It has become a big hit for fans, veterans and active military. For fans it's a chance to support our veterans and for the vets and active military, it's a free ticket to the annual Military Night game.
In addition to the free tickets, the Gamblers donate a portion of the ticket proceeds from the game. The team also wears a specially designed military jersey for this game each year and those jerseys are auctioned off after the game with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans or DAV.
The Gamblers along with their fans have proudly donated nearly $120,000 to area vets since the Military Night started in 2013. The vast majority of that has gone to the DAV, which does a lot of things for vets, but a major emphasis in on transporting disabled vets. Last season, the Gamblers were proud to present a new transport van.
In a prelude to the Military Night this year, the Gamblers upped the ante and hosted a free military breakfast in early November at Shopko Hall. Any veteran or active military member could simply walk in the doors and get a free pancake and porky breakfast with coffee and donuts too! We were thrilled to serve more than 200 people. We think the event will only grow as more vets learn about it. We'll try to do it on a day other than Veterans Day since many other businesses offer free meals on that day.
In addition to the Teddy Bear Toss game and a few others, the annual Military Night has become one of the biggest nights of the Gamblers home season. It is rewarding to see so many people from the community come out to support the Gamblers who are in turn supporting community organizations. The Gamblers also support the MS Society, American Heart Association, myTeam Triumph and Center for Suicide Awareness. They also do a game called Dash for Cash that supports area schools where teachers get on the ice to grab cash for their schools. Yes, it's good business to do good.
Terry Charles is public relations manager for Green Bay-based PMI Entertainment Group. He's all about media relations, publicity and social media for the Resch Center Complex, Meyer Theatre, Green Bay Gamblers Hockey and other events produced by PMI. When not at work, please don't hit him with your car as he runs and bikes around the Green Bay area. You can follow him on Twitter at @TCCharles.