Boston Red Sox fans have experienced an unforgettable season in which the iconic franchise set a new record for wins en route to the American League East title. For one special fan on one September day, the Red Sox and Fenway Park experience became memorable in ways he never dreamed. As part of the T.Cares community outreach program, Tickets.com worked closely with the Red Sox to customize a once-in-a-lifetime game day experience for an inspirational 18-year-old, Evan Wallace.
This young man, who also serves as Shriners 2018 patient ambassador at the Shriners Hospital – Boston, was born with a severe cleft lip and palate and has undergone several major surgeries throughout his lifetime, including a successful bone graft to reconstruct his mouth. While recovering and on a “blender food only” diet, Evan created a cookbook with nutritional and enjoyable recipes that has since helped many patients going through similar treatment, underscoring his on-going commitment to helping others.
On that September day, Evan and his family sat in Fenway Park’s second row to see his favorite team Red Sox take on the divisional rival Toronto Blue Jays®. Prior to the game, the entire family joined the Red Sox on the field for pre-game ceremonies, which were highlighted by Evan delivering the game ball and rosin bag to the pitcher’s mound in front of more than 30,000 fans.
Just like the game itself, Evan’s experience was only beginning. During the game, Evan and his family were welcomed with a special video message on the Fenway Park videoboard and JD Martinez, right fielder for the Red Sox, tossed Evan a game-used baseball during the fourth inning.
The game ended with another Red Sox victory, but this day’s experience, specially designed by the Red Sox and Tickets.com, had meaning beyond the final score. A program like T.Cares was established to provide a platform for this. On that one day in September, the partners honored Evan’s inspiring commitment to using the challenges he’s faced to build a community of positivity and support for those in similar circumstances.
Elizabeth Fisher, Manager of Marketing and Communications for the Boston Shriners Hospital explains what this experience means for young people like Evan: “We are so grateful to Tickets.com and the Red Sox for this opportunity. Initiatives like T.Cares help us provide our brave young patients with some brief respite from what they are facing day-to-day, and there is no better testament of our work than to see our patients out in the community, enjoying experiences that they will never forget. Evan is a wonderful ambassador of our hospital and we are thrilled he had this opportunity.”
For Bucky Heath, Head of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at Tickets.com, it’s occasions like this that demonstrate the importance of the initiative: “Our commitment to venue experiences goes so far beyond providing ticketing technology. We aspire to build a meaningful community experience with our partners. Creating an experience like this with the Red Sox and Shriners Boston to honor someone like Evan who has selflessly given back to others and his own community exemplifies the vision of T.Cares.”