Broadway's Andrew Samonsky and His Father Chuck Kick off "Ballpark Voyage for Veterans"
Broadway actor and accomplished vocalist Andrew Samonskyand his father, Vietnam Veteran Louis "Chuck" Samonsky, will embark on a cross-country tour of Major League Baseball ballparks called Ballpark Voyage For Veterans, in an effort to raise money for the Fisher House Foundation, from May 7 - July 13, 2014.
The tour begins at the Angels stadium in Anaheim, CA on May 7, and travels across the country visiting famous ballparks including Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. During the trip, Andrew and his dad will also visit some of the nation's largest veteran memorials throughout the trip, and stop at local Fisher Houses along the way.
Andrew is currently reaching out to teams in the hopes of singing the National Anthem before the game, or "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch, as an extension of the patriotic nature of his journey and fundraising effort.
A Broadway veteran, Andrew has played leading roles in several shows including Scandalous (2012), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2013) and as Lt Joseph Cable in the Tony Award winning production of South Pacific (Lincoln Center 2008-2010) including the nationally televised Live From Lincoln Center PBS Broadcast.
The self-proclaimed "baseball nuts" say they have been talking about the trip for years, and by pairing it with a cause that hits close to home, Chuck expects it to be a heartfelt and meaningful journey.
Andrew was inspired by the devotion military families have for their loved ones, and by his own parent's struggle after his father suffered a traumatizing injury on his last day of combat in Vietnam.
After his father was injured, his mother, a flight attendant, spent eight months sitting by his bedside, sleeping in bathrooms and waiting rooms, doing anything she could to remain by his side.
"There were no Fisher Houses to give my mother a safe, comfortable place to stay, or community to connect with as she helped my father pass the countless hours of painful recovery. When we recently discovered the work the Fisher House Foundation was doing, it spoke powerfully to my parents and me."
Andrew and Chuck plan to visit Fisher Houses in Palo Alto, Los Angeles, San Diego, Raleigh, Bethesda, Pittsburgh, Chicago and St. Louis.
Supporters can donate to their cross-country cause by clicking on their fundraising page here. 100% of the funds raised will go to the Fisher House Foundation.
About Fisher House: Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans' families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, close to the medical center or hospital it serves. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a lodging fee. Since inception, the program has saved military and veterans' families an estimated $235 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.
Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans. www.fisherhouse.org