The Budweiser brand raised $2.5 million for military families during Major League Baseball’s recently ended regular season as part of a program called, "Walk-off a Hero."
The program’s name stems from a game-winning phenomenon that occurs in baseball when the home team scores a run during its last at bat to win a game in dramatic fashion. There were 205 such "walk off" wins during regular season play and each time one occurred Budweiser provided a scholarship to a family through the Folds of Honor Foundation, an organization devoted to providing scholarships to families of fallen or injured soldiers.
"Walk-offs are one of the most exciting ways to win in baseball," said Rob McCarthy, vp of Budweiser at Anheuser-Busch. "Knowing that each walk-off this season will help support and honor our wounded or fallen heroes and their families made each walk-off even more exciting and meaningful."
For each of the 205 walk-off wins during the 2012 regular season, Budweiser donated $5,000 to FHF. In addition to the "Walk-off a Hero" program, Budweiser contributed a portion of all sales from May 20 through July 7, raising a total of $2.5 million for FHF.
"Thanks to Budweiser and the ‘Walk-off a Hero’ program, we can now provide 205 more deserving military families with educational scholarships and incredible opportunities," said Major Dan Rooney, president and founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation. "The $4.5 million that Budweiser has contributed to our Foundation over the past two years has helped us bring these families healing, hope and the opportunity to realize their dreams."
Budweiser presented the donation to Rooney and FHF on October 3, in front of 42,509 people at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Rooney, a former F-16 fighter pilot who served three combat tours in Iraq, founded FHF in 2007 after an inspiring moment aboard a commercial flight. As the plane landed, the pilot announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have an American hero on board – Corporal Brock Bucklin. And his twin brother, Corporal Brad Bucklin, is accompanying him home from Iraq. As a sign of respect, please remain seated while Corporal Bucklin's family receives him in his final homecoming."
Rooney watched through the window of the plane as the flag-draped casket was lowered. He saw a family waiting for Brock, and a four-year old boy waiting for his father. The tragic homecoming inspired Rooney to create the Folds of Honor Foundation. To learn more about FHF, visit www.foldsofhonor.org.