On Memorial Day weekend, people across the United States take time to thank those who serve and remember those who lost their lives while serving. D-Backs reliever Brad Ziegler makes it a year-round mission to honor servicemen and servicewomen.
Ziegler founded Pastime for Patriots whose mission is to honor all members of our armed forces and their families for their sacrifices to our country. PFP provides educationally based financial assistance to military children and family-friendly activities for military members and their families.
Pastime for Patriots has four signature programs – Tickets for Families, Student Scholarships, Baby Showers and Mission Trips.
Tickets for Families began as the initial program for PFP. Ziegler hosts events prior to games and purchases tickets to bring servicemen and servicewomen to a game as an effort to say “thank you” for their sacrifice.
The program provides an opportunity for military families to leave the house and temporarily take their mind off their loved ones who are in the service and away from home. From 2010 through 2015, Ziegler and PFP provided nearly 40,000 game tickets to military families.
Ziegler and PFP have an annual partnership with the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships to high school seniors who have lost a parent in military service. To date, PFP has donated tens of thousands of dollars to help fund such scholarships.
Ziegler’s wife, Kristen, also assists with PFP. She has personally attended baby showers co-hosted with Operation Showers of Appreciation in the Phoenix metro area. The baby showers support military wives who are either pregnant or have recently given birth whose husbands are currently or have been recently deployed overseas.
Each woman receives a gift basket filled with baby items – diapers, blankets, bottles, clothes and more – as well as a larger item the woman has selected from her own registry.
PFP has also organized mission trips the past two years to Honduras, which have been supported by various Major Leaguers. The group has provided materials and labor to build a learning center, as well as meals, and gifts to orphans at the Copprome Orphanage. The mission trips also partner with an organization called Hearts 2 Honduras and combine effort to help break the circle of poverty.
Ziegler also takes time to visit troops at Luke Air Force Base in Surprise, Ariz., and when the Diamondbacks are playing in San Diego, he takes trips to the Naval Base Coronado. Ziegler has developed relationships with Navy Seals based and training there, and provides tickets, meals and entertainment. Ziegler also gave them footwear for their workouts from his New Balance sponsorship.
And if all of that is not enough, Ziegler makes time to support a number of programs and initiatives of the Players Trust, including serving on the Action Team national youth volunteer program’s scholarship committee.
He may make his living on the hill, but Ziegler spends quite a bit of time #GoingToBat for others.
Major Leaguers are #GoingToBat for causes near and dear to them, as they personify the Players Trust’s motto to ‘care, act and inspire.’ To learn more about the charitable interests and activities of Brad Ziegler and other Major Leaguers, please click here.