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April 22, 2011 > CSUEB Support the Troops Day a success

CSUEB Support the Troops Day a success

Submitted By Kelly Hayes, CSUEB Sports Info Director

On Saturday, April 9, the Cal State East Bay softball team hosted Support the Troops Day at Pioneer Softball Field. The event raised funds and collected items to send to U.S. military service men and women overseas.

CSU-East Bay collected sundry items in support of Give2theTroops, a nonprofit organization that collects items and sends care packages to the military. The team also hosted a raffle of softball gear, golf outings and local merchant gift cards, raising $300 to benefit Give2theTroops.

The event kicked off with the presentation of the colors by the Golden Bear ROTC Color Guard representing ROTC from Cal State East Bay, St. Mary's College and UC Berkeley. Pioneer basketball player Sarah Finlay performed the national anthem and head softball coach Barbara Pierce named Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Nagin as an honorary coach for the day.

Local elementary school students were invited to attend the game and those in attendance were able to join the softball team on the field for the national anthem. Fans were also given the opportunity to write personalized notes to the troops that Give2theTroops will send overseas along with care packages.

There was also a special recognition for Pioneer outfielder Nikki Freiberg, who was recently sworn in and will be joining the marines after graduation.

"CSU East Bay is my home team; I am a resident Hayward and attend as many home games as I can," said Kevin Grate, who attended the day's festivities. "It's great entertainment for the price. My dad was a veteran of the Korean War and served 25 years in the Navy, so I felt it was important to attend this event and I was equally proud of the CSU East Bay Athletic Department for sponsoring the event. The two wars do not make the nightly news and the public needs to keep in mind that we have young people in harm's way."

Grate's daughter Clarke, who wrote a message to send to the troops, added, "I want the troops to know we are thinking of them."

Cal State East Bay Pioneers softball will close out the season with a four-game home series against UC San Diego on Friday, April 22, and Saturday, April 23. Prior to the Saturday doubleheader, the Pioneers are set to honor their four seniors. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Pioneer Softball Field.

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