01/18/11 4:10 PM EST
Marlins Caravan to visit troops home, abroad
Annual event to stop in Asia, Germany, as well as South Florida
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
This year, the organization also will be touching base with members of the United States military.
The Marlins will start off their "Caravan for the Troops" with a special trip to visit military personnel in Southwest Asia and Germany. Representatives from the organization will head overseas from Feb. 3-11.
For the second straight year, members of the Marlins will be working in association with Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE) to recognize those in active duty.
Last year, the Marlins became the first MLB team to send active players to visit U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait since the war in Iraq began.
"'Caravan for the Troops' is a part of the Marlins' continuing efforts to show appreciation to the men and women who dedicate their lives to protect our country," said Marlins senior vice president of marketing Sean Flynn. "We are confident that these events will inspire our fans to show support to our troops, as well."
After the troop visit, the Marlins will conduct their annual caravan tour in South Florida. The tour will run from Feb. 14-18.
The week-long event will commence on Feb. 14 with a trip to visit U.S. soldiers at Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba, with players, Mermaids and front-office personnel.
Capping the week will be the annual Jiffy Lube Marlins FanFest on Feb. 19 at Sun Life Stadium.
The event, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET, will be the final Marlins FanFest at Sun Life Stadium. The InterContinental Miami will serve as the official host hotel for Marlins players during Caravan week and FanFest.
In 2012, the Marlins will open their new ballpark in the Little Havana section of Miami.
The 2011 caravan will include visits to the U.S. Coast Guard Base in Miami Beach, Homestead Air Force Base and U.S. Southern Command for a Soldiers Appreciation Day. Marlins players, coaches, front-office executives, Billy The Marlin, the Marlins Mermaids and the Marlins Manatees will be on hand to show their appreciation to those in uniform.
Also during the week, the Marlins will host exclusive fundraising events, including the Marlins Celebrity Golf Classic on Feb. 16 at Parkland Golf and Country Club, and the Marlins Inaugural Diamond Ball reception on Feb. 18 at the InterContinental Miami.
These events will feature key local figures, sports legends, current Marlins players and alumni and more. Proceeds will benefit the Florida Marlins Community Foundation's Cornerstones for Kids. Reservations for both events are available by calling (305) 623-6497.