Local veterans groups salute Lee baseball, head coach Mark Brew

By LARRY C. BOWERS Staff Writer
Posted 8/17/17

Coach Mark Brew and his Lee University baseball program were recognized this week by representatives of local veterans organizations.

Brew and Lee baseball have sponsored a Military …

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Local veterans groups salute Lee baseball, head coach Mark Brew

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Coach Mark Brew and his Lee University baseball program were recognized this week by representatives of local veterans organizations.

Brew and Lee baseball have sponsored a Military Appreciation Day, with ballgames, each spring for the past five years. The promotion is a fundraiser, and proceeds of more than $40,000 have gone to benefit several veterans projects in the community.

Funds from two of the five years have gone to Disabled American Veterans Chapter 25, and Commander Bill Gray was one of the veterans paying tribute to Brew at this week’s presentation in the veterans’ section of Fort Hill Cemetery.

DAV members, and others, used a portion of the Military Appreciation Day proceeds from the spring of 2016 game to build a new and impressive pavilion at the Veterans Cemetery.

Lee University’s baseball coach was presented with a framed photograph of the new pavilion for display in his office at Lee University.

“I’m honored, and humbled,” said Brew of the presentation. “This is not why we do this special day.”

The Lee coach went on to say, “It is nice to see what we have contributed (to the community) with this new pavilion. It a great setting, and it’s our own, for the veterans and their families.”

Brew said he and his staff are already working on plans for next spring’s Military Appreciation Day, which traditionally includes a doubleheader.

In addition to the DAV, funds from the annual events have been presented to the Bradley County Honor Guard (for purchase of a van), and for the proposed Veterans Park along 25th Street near the Spring Branch residential complex.

Funds for the park have been held by the City of Cleveland, which is waiting for the construction of a restaurant near the site and plans for a detention area. Construction of the park will follow.

Gray expressed his appreciation, and thanks from the DAV to Brew and his team. He also mentioned the fact the Home Depot corporation provided funds and material for the pavilion’s construction.

“Lee is not like other universities,” Gray continued. “They really want to help our veteran organizations.”

He added that in addition to construction of the pavilion, DAV has used the funds for wheelchairs and wheelchair ramps for veterans, and has also provided some modifications for veterans’ homes.

Kim Deese of the Veterans’ Council presented Coach Brew with the photograph. Also attending the program were several veterans, Courtney Webb of Home Depot, and Bradley County Veterans Affairs Office Joe Davis.

Paul and Bobby Goins, who volunteer as custodians of the Veterans Cemetery, also participated.

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