The David Iery Foundation will be returning to Whitaker Bank Ballpark on Saturday.
The organization, whose mission is to help fund spinal cord research while providing various scholarships and opportunities to young athletes, will be celebrating a David Iery Foundation Night at the Lexington Legends’ game against the West Virginia Power. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m., with pregame events beginning at 6:35 p.m.
“We’re kind of in the beginning stages with the Legends’ relationship,” said David Iery Foundation vice president and co-founder Brandon Walker, who is Iery’s nephew. “We want to do more. What we’re wanting to do is have this as an annual event, so every year we get to go to Lexington and talk about our foundation.”
The event is the second of the year for the David Iery Foundation at the Lexington location. The first was the David Iery Foundation Showcase on April 14, which was supposed to feature several high school teams, but plans were put on hold due to weather. Fleming County managed to finish a five-inning game against Fairview with a walkoff win, but Mason County’s game against Jenkins was cut short and Lewis County was unable to take the field because of storms.
Saturday’s event will feature local talent from Lewis County in the pregame ceremonies. Katelyn Collins will be singing the national anthem and Hailey Thurman will be singing “God Bless America.” Silas and Laurelle Setters, the children of Mike Setters, who works with Lewis County’s Little League program, will throw out the first pitch.
Tickets for the game can be purchased through the David Iery Foundation for $8, which is a $2 discount from the price at the gate. For every ticket sold, $3 will be going to the David Iery Foundation to help raise funds for the organization.
Iery has been in a wheelchair since breaking his neck sliding into home plate in a game during his senior year of high school at Lewis County. The organization got going following the first David Iery Day at Great American Ball Park on September 12, 2012, where Iery was named an honorary captain of the Reds. The David Iery Foundation will have the Sixth Annual Cincinnati Reds David Iery Day on September 6, when the Reds host the Padres. Tickets for the event can be obtained by contacting the David Iery Foundation through their Facebook or Twitter accounts, both of which have the handle @TeamIery.
“More and more people are starting to buy in without us asking. This is a really amazing community to build an organization like this. People are willing to help and are volunteering to help without us asking,” said Walker. “We’ve covered a lot of ground, learned a lot and met a lot of awesome people. The Reds are working with us a lot, the Legends are a lot and a lot of local businesses are helping us out in Lewis County, Mason County and Fleming County. Those counties specifically we’re trying to keep involved as much as we can with everything.”
Several other promotional events will be happening on Saturday as well. A season-long Hatfield and McCoy Night promotion, which happens each time they play the Power this summer, is a tribute to the Hatfield and McCoy feud that started in the 1800s. Special jerseys will be auctioned off at the end of the season, according to the team’s website. A kids’ jersey give-a-way will be taking place on Saturday. The event, presented by WKYT, gives replica Legends’ jerseys to the first 1,000 kids through the gate. There will also be a fireworks show following the game.
“Any time you get a summer Saturday game in Lexington and fireworks – [Legends’ president and CEO] Andy Shea does an amazing job with the fireworks – but in July the fireworks show is just outstanding. It’s always a really good family environment. It’s just good for kids and family involvement, the food is always good and it’s always a pretty accommodating atmosphere,” said Walker. “You can expect a really good time.”