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DENVER – It’s not unusual to see major league players use their good fortune to give back to their community, but in his first year as a Rockie, Mike Dunn has already found a memorable way to make an impact with Colorado’s military families.
Last week, the Rockies announced that Dunn will host military guests and their families at Monday home games throughout the year. Guests will be invited watch the team take batting practice on the field and chat with Dunn and other players before taking in the game.
“It’s whatever little bit I can give back to them to come out and experience a ballgame,” Dunn said.
Dunn’s support of military families stems all the way back to 2011, when he went fishing with veterans as a Miami Marlin as part of the Shake-a-Leg program.
“Just sitting down and talking to them…I’ve always had an appreciation for the military and their families and stuff, but spending a day out on the water fishing with those guys and talking to them kind of honed in that was where I wanted to focus my charity,” he said.
Two years later, Dunn and the Marlins had developed a program with military support organizations like Little Warriors and Special Operations Warrior Foundation to bring military families out to games.
Although Dunn is seeing a change of scenery in Colorado, the program he is developing with the Rockies mirrors what he helped build in Miami.
“Really just bringing them out, bringing their families out, and really just being able to sit down and talk to them and just let them enjoy a day at the ballpark,” Dunn explains. “Take their minds off of what’s going on, and maybe it helps them out a little bit to just sit back and relax and watch a game.”
Dunn and the Rockies plan to host 10 families this year, placing the foundation for a program Dunn can see growing and continuing through future seasons at Coors Field.
“Right now we’re just leaving it open,” said Dunn. “Whoever wants to come out, come out and enjoy a game.”