FLUSHING, N.Y., March 28, 2013 - The New York Mets today announced they will honor heroes and volunteers who have played an integral role in the response to Hurricane Sandy in a pre-game, on-field ceremony on Opening Day, April 1 at Citi Field. The Mets open their season this Monday against the San Diego Padres at 1:10 p.m.
Five hundred first responders will be honored in the ceremony, including members of the Army National Guard, Army Corp of Engineers, Con Edison of New York, Department of Corrections, Department of Sanitation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Protective Service, Fire Department of New York, New York City Office of Emergency Management, New York Police Department, New York State Homeland Security, New York State Office of Emergency Management, and United States Homeland Security.
The Mets have donated 1,000 Opening Day tickets to citizens who were heroic in their response to Sandy, and to those who were affected by the devastation. The group includes 300 Habitat for Humanity - New York City volunteers involved in helping New York City families affected by Hurricane Sandy rebuild.
The Mets have designed the event as recognition of the storm and its aftermath, and a reminder that recovery efforts and volunteerism must continue through 2013 and beyond.
Emmy Rossum - a singer, actress and star of Showtime's Shameless - will sing the National Anthem on Opening Day backed by 50 choir members from the Scholars' Academy in Far Rockaway. The classically-trained 26-year-old is a Golden Globe Award nominee. Rossum's second album, "Sentimental Journey," a collection of standards, was released in January, 2013. The Mets hosted children from the Scholars' Academy in December at the club's annual Holiday Party.
Rossum began her theatrical career at the age of seven when she began singing the children's roles at the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center. Her starring performance as "Christine" in The Phantom Of The Opera in 2004 earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination, as well as the National Board of Review's Best Female Breakthrough Performance Award and the Broadcast Film Critics Association's Best Young Actress Award in 2005. Film credits include the recent Warner Bros release Beautiful Creatures, the upcoming Alcon Pictures' You're Not You with Hilary Swank, Mystic River, Poseidon, and The Day After Tomorrow.
The Opening Day ceremony kicks off a season-long call to action by the Mets to encourage fans to help their fellow New Yorkers. In the weeks ahead, the Mets will announce programs that will continue to honor Sandy heroes. Mets players including David Wright, Johan Santana, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, Bobby Parnell and Daniel Murphy in the weeks after the storm visited affected areas in Staten Island, Far Rockaway, Breezy Point, Coney Island and Long Beach to aid in the recovery. In December, Wright and the Mets Foundation donated $250,000 to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City to support hurricane restoration efforts.
The Mets encourage fans to take mass transit to Opening Day at Citi Field. Parking is limited as Cirque du Soliel's TOTEM is currently in production in the Citi Field parking lots, although there will be no performance on Opening Day to accommodate as many fans as possible. The 7 train is the fast, convenient, and "green" way to travel to the game. The Mets-Willets Point stop is adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The Long Island Rail Road's Port Washington Branch from Penn Station or Woodside has half-hourly service, and the ride from Manhattan is 16 minutes. For those coming from the northern suburbs, all Metro-North trains on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines connect with the 7 Subway. For more details visit www.mta.info and click on "Take the Train to the Game"™ or you also can call New York City Transit at (718) 330-1234, Long Island Rail Road at (718) 217-LIRR (NYC), (516) 822-LIRR (Nassau), (631) 231-LIRR (Suffolk) or Metro-North at 800-METRO-INFO.