(PR) The Gwinnett Gladiators announce that they will sign two-time baseball Cy Young Award winner Tom Glavine to be an honorary member of the team for their Saturday, March 20th home game vs. the Trenton Devils @ 7:05pm. As a member of the team, Glavine will take part in a private pre-game autograph session with all proceeds going to benefit Keep Georgia Safe. In addition, Glavine will skate with the team for player introductions and pre-game ceremonies before the Gladiators honor him during the first intermission of the game as their first inductee into the “BE A GLADIATOR” Hall of Fame in recognition of his extraordinary personal contributions to the community.
Prior to the game, Glavine will take part in a private autograph session with all proceeds going to benefit Keep Georgia Safe, a non-profit charity dedicated to providing safety education and crime prevention training in Georgia and to operating the only network that sends Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued alerts for missing or dangerous persons.
“Keep Georgia Safe is honored that Tom Glavine and the Gwinnett Gladiators have recognized the importance of our work to provide safety education to Georgia’s families and law enforcement officers,” said Gary Martin Hays, founder and chairman of Keep Georgia Safe. “We are so proud to partner with them in the Big Wheel Rally fundraiser.”
The autograph session will take place from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Arena. Tickets to the private session are on sale to Gladiators Season Ticket Holders this week and should any tickets remain, they will be placed on sale to the general public beginning on Friday, March 12th at 5 p.m. Each ticket to the autograph session is $ 136.00 and will allow two people admission into the event and the Gladiators game against Trenton. The pre-game autograph session will be limited to a total of 100 tickets and all proceeds will benefit Keep Georgia Safe. For more information on the autograph session visit the Gladiators website at http://www.gwinnettgladiators.com.
While sports fans are well aware of the baseball accomplishments of Tom Glavine, many may not be aware of his athletic ability in the sport of hockey. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Glavine lettered in both hockey and baseball at Billerica Memorial High School. While a senior in high school, Glavine was named the Merrimack Valley’s Most Valuable Player in the sport of hockey. In 1984, Glavine was drafted in the 4th Round of the NHL Entry Draft, the 69th pick overall, by the Los Angeles Kings. For some perspective as to Glavine’s comparative potential in the sport of hockey, 2009 NHL Hall of Fame inductees Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille were drafted that year two rounds and five rounds later than Glavine, respectively.
The focus of the team’s “BE A GLADIATOR” Hall of Fame honor, however, is on Glavine’s charitable contributions rather than his athletic ones. Over his career, Tom Glavine has lent his time, his financial resources and his energy to several causes – many of which the Gladiators also support. These include the Georgia Transplant Foundation, CURE Childhood Cancer, the Rally Foundation which is devoted to conquering childhood cancer, Operation Backpack which supplied over 10,000 backpacks filled with supplies to homeless school children and victims of Hurricane Katrina, and Catholic Athletes for Christ. In addition, Glavine coaches his son’s youth hockey team here in Atlanta.
“Induction into the “BE A GLADIATOR” Hall of Fame is a special honorary designation that our organization will begin to bestow this season focusing on local individuals whose efforts make our community and our society a better place,” said Gladiators President Steve Chapman. “As we go forward, we hope to honor many deserving individuals, regardless of their level of professional accomplishment or fame, who have played a part in helping others. Because of his dedicated efforts in so many charitable and humanitarian causes, the Gladiators consider it a privilege to have this opportunity to select Tom as our first inductee. And maybe, if we’re lucky, he’ll even stick around and chip in a few goals for us on the power play.”
The weekend marks the 4th Annual Big Wheel Rally Weekend. The Big Wheel Rally consists of a continuous 48-hour big wheel ride by a team of middle-aged, out-of-shape lawyers who will circle the Gwinnett Arena Club Level concourse from March 19th through March 21st to raise funds and awareness for Keep Georgia Safe. The Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates and the Gwinnett Gladiators have teamed up for four years to benefit children’s charities in Atlanta. Last year’s 1,792 laps for 224 total miles raised $10,000 for Keep Georgia Safe.
In addition to these events, the first 1,500 kids 12 & under through the doors on Saturday night will receive a Gladiators Mini Hockey Stick courtesy of The Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays, RaceTrac, and Kicks 101.5 FM – doors open at 6:00pm. And on Sunday, cartoon superstar Spongebob Squarepants will be on hand to meet kids and take part in the conclusion of the Big Wheel Rally, presented by Charter Communications – gametime is 4:05pm. Tickets for both games are on sale now at the Arena Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets. For more information or details on ticket packages and group rates, log on to the official team website at http://www.gwinnettgladiators.com or call the team offices at 770-497-5100. For more information on Keep Georgia Safe, visit http://www.keepgeorgiasafe.org.