The Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday announced the team will hold its annual Military Appreciation Game on Friday, Nov. 11, against the New Jersey Devils at KeyBank Center. The annual event will be dedicated to honoring both current and former members of this nation's armed forces. It will feature several tributes throughout the night.
As a salute to the military, Sabres players will wear special camouflage jerseys during warm-ups. The jerseys will be auctioned on sabres.com/auctions from Nov. 11 (following the game) until 9 p.m. Nov. 20. Proceeds will benefit the Buffalo Sabres Foundation.
That organization, in continuing its effort to support local military organizations, will donate a total of $10,000 to the Veterans One-stop Center, WNY Heroes, the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, and the Altamont Homeless Veterans Program. Sabres players will visit the VA Hospital and the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park on Thursday.
Sabres captain Brian Gionta will host children of military families in his suite. Those military members will be invited down for a meet-and-greet with the players following the game. The Sabres will also donate more than 150 tickets to members of the Veterans One-stop Center and the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.
Fans will have an opportunity to sign thank you boards during the game. The boards will be located on the 100 Level at the top of the escalators and will be sent to military personnel.
In honor of Military Appreciation Night, the Sabres will offer all active, reserve, National Guard and retired military personnel the opportunity to purchase tickets in the 300 Level for $25. To order these tickets, visit sabres.com/military. Military members will also receive a 25 percent discount at the Sabres Store on Nov. 11.
During the game, information tables will be set up around the 100 Level by the Veterans One-stop Center of Western New York, as well as WNY Heroes, which is bringing some of its dogs from the service dogs program. The United Way will also have a table selling "Operation United" T-shirts.
In support of active military, Crown Royal and the Sabres have announced a bag collection program. Beginning Friday, the team will collect the velvet Crown Royal bags from fans at KeyBank Center. All collected bags will be filled with personal care items and donated to active military personnel. Crown Royal will also make a donation to United Service Organizations (USO) for each bag that is collected. Fans who drop off a velvet bag at KeyBank Center will receive a 10 percent discount at the Sabres Store.
In addition to Military Appreciation Night, the Sabres are continuing two programs throughout the 2016-17 season to honor local military members. Matt Moulson will continue to host a veteran in his seats as part of the "Tickets for Troops" program, presented by Crown Royal. To sign up for Moulson's "Tickets for Troops" program, click HERE.
BlueCross BlueShield of WNY is also continuing to donate tickets and honor a local veteran on the ice during the national anthems. To register for this program, click HERE.
Last month, the Sabres and Saving Grace Ministries Inc. celebrated the opening of the Patriot Heights apartment complex. The Sabres donated more than $600,000 to the project, which will provide affordable housing for veterans.
The Buffalo Sabres Foundation's mission statement is "To identify and support local organizations which share our core objectives: serving children and military personnel, caring for the sick, assisting physically and mentally challenged athletes, and supporting youth hockey initiatives. By utilizing financial resources and community influence, the Buffalo Sabres Foundation assists these organizations and their beneficiaries in realizing their highest potential and succeeding in their endeavors."