McCoy hosts annual dinner serving up steaks to veterans
PAWTUCKET – The steaks on Bill Masuck’s plate were getting cold, but that didn’t bother him Friday night.
A 1961 graduate of Tolman High School, Masuck sat at a table with fellow Pawtucket natives and fellow veterans of military service.
Also with Masuck, a Vietnam War vet, was Donald Brooks, a World War II veteran who turns 87 this year. Since they were inside the home clubhouse at McCoy Stadium, the table was lively with baseball chatter — what the game was like back in their day and how they have their fingers crossed about pro ball somehow staying at McCoy after the Pawtucket Red Sox play their final game at the venue.
Masuck and Brooks were part of a crowd of 60 veterans and their families that attended the fourth annual steak
dinner the PawSox put on in conjunction with the Veterans Day holiday.
“It’s something that’s great and something we can all appreciate,” said Masuck. “Some the guys here, they’ve never been to anything like this. It’s not like we have these events all the time.”
Besides being treated to a four-course meal that also included salad, mashed potatoes, string beans, and cheese cake, the veterans and their guests received a tour of McCoy with the narration provided by Mike Lyons, who handles corporate partnership sales for the PawSox.
Before taking a spin around the ballpark, the veterans posed for an on-field group photo. The scoreboard was turned on with an American flag serving as the backdrop.
The honorees on hand Friday night were veterans affiliated with the YWCA of Rhode Island Gateway to Independence, the Rhode Island Military Organization, Chapter 3 of the Pawtucket DAV, Central Falls American Legion Post 79, Newport VFW Post 406, RI Association of Fire Chiefs Honor Flights, and Operation Stand Down. The group included men who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Desert Storm.
Before dinner was served by members of the PawSox front-office staff, there was an invocation led by PawSox chaplain Michael Buffi. At age 95, Roland Poirier was the oldest veteran on hand. He received a nice round of applause as Lyons continued to address the room.
“It’s truly an honor to host this event each year,” said Rob Crain, PawSox senior vice president of sales and marketing. “You get to interact with a lot of great people and hear from great stories.”
Added Kasim Yarn, director of R.I. Office of Veteran Affairs, “We can’t say thank you enough and we can’t give enough to our veterans, but that’s what makes outings like this so special. It brings the community together. The PawSox have always been great when it comes to recognizing veterans and this is just another example.”
The PawSox on Saturday morning will continue their weekend of saluting veterans. At 9:30 a.m., the starter’s pistol will commence the Veterans Home Run 5K Walk & Run event. The entry fee is $25 with day-of-race registration running from 7:45-9 a.m.
Left to right, Joe Bradlee, PawSox director of communications, Pawtucket native & Korean War veteran Donald Brooks, and Kasim Yarn, director of R.I. Office of Veterans Affairs, at McCoy Stadium on Friday night.