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Mets alumni reunite to celebrate nonprofit dedicated to 9/11 families

Mr. Met attends Tuesday's Children Celebrating 20 Years of Service at Citi Field on Sept. 23, 2021, in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Tuesday’s Children, the organization dedicated to 9/11 family members and communities impacted by terrorism, military conflict, and mass violence, honored the New York Mets, a long-standing partner of the nonprofit, at their 20th Annual Gala at Citi Field last week.

To mark their two decades of service, Tuesday’s Children reunited Mets alumni including manager Bobby Valentine, Edgardo Alfonzo, John Franco, Al Leiter and Todd Ziele with 9/11 family members, General Stanley McChrystal — who joined virtually and is the founder of the McChrystal Group — and Grammy-nominated singer Deitrick Hadden, who sang the national anthem.

The gala celebration featured live entertainment and a live auction with signed sports memorabilia, private tours by the Mets alum, dinner with Bobby Valentine, and tickets to the 2022 MLB All-Star Game.

“We are honored to mark our 20th year of service to family members and communities since Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001,” Tuesday’s Children Executive Director Terry Sears said. “Of over the 350 nonprofits that were established after 9/11, Tuesday’s Children had the specific mission to focus on the 3,000+ children left without a parent. Ever since our inception over two decades ago, we have expanded our mission to provide the same platform of proven programs and services that we delivered to the 9/11 community to thousands of post-9/11 Military Families of the Fallen, who have suffered losses as a ripple effect of the 9/11 tragedy.”

Atmosphere at Tuesday’s Children Celebrating 20 Years of Service on Sept. 23, 2021, at Citi Field in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Valentine will always be remembered for the tireless work he and his players did turning the parking lot at Shea Stadium into an emergency distribution hub for 9/11 relief.

Valentine recounted the historic Sept. 21, 2001, Mets game against the Atlanta Braves, the first home game after 9/11 that was “bigger than baseball” and made even more memorable by Mets Hall of Famer Mike Piazza’s game-winning home run.

“It was about bringing everyone together to help us heal. It was like putting a small bandage on a large wound,” Valentine said. “We promised that night to be there for the children of those who lost loved ones on 9/11. Twenty years later, we will never forget and will always be there for you. I am so proud that the 2001 Mets players have continued to stand with Tuesday’s Children and help others who have been impacted by terrorism.”

Bobby Valentine, Edgardo Alfonzo, John Franco and Todd Zeile attend Tuesday’s Children Celebrating 20 Years of Service on Sept. 23, 2021, at Citi Field in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
John Franco, Jay Horwitz, Al Leiter and Edgardo Alfonzo attend Tuesday’s Children Celebrating 20 Years of Service on Sept. 23, 2021, at Citi Field in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Marking its 20th year of dedicated service, Tuesday’s Children has provided long-term healing and resilience-building support to over 42,000 people impacted by terrorism, military conflict and mass violence, including supportive services to build resilience in 3,051 children who lost a parent on 9/11; thousands of 9/11 responder families; more than 37,000 families grieving the death of post-9/11 military service members; more than 6,000 youth served through their Career Resource Center; and more than 900 young adults from 34 countries with Project Common Bond.

“Our role is to provide services to those impacted and to build a sense of community whether it’s through mentorship or leadership programs, career services or even fun events to sports games, Broadway and beyond,” Sears said. “We are a soft-landing place for these families and the kids continue to be a beacon of hope for all of us.”

For more information or to make a donation, visit the organization’s website, tuesdayschildren.org

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