(HARTFORD, CT) – This past Friday, December 15, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman commended New Britain’s Schaller Auto World and the New Britain Bees on a partnership that raised $5,200 for Operation E.L.F. (Embracing Lonely Families), an initiative through the Connecticut Military Department that supports Connecticut’s military families in the deployment cycle. Established in 2001, Operation ELF offers assistance throughout the year to families facing the financial strain of active duty.
“I want to thank Art Schaller, New Britain Bees General Manager Brad Smith, and their teams for coming together for military families,” said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. “This donation will go a long way in helping to ease the stress that active duty military families face. I know I’m not alone in deeply appreciating the solidarity shown to our military families, especially during the holiday season. This was a great act of kindness.”
This past season during Sunday New Britain Bees home games, Schaller Auto World invited two Bees fans to throw beanbags from the stands through the moonroof of a Schaller car. For every beanbag that went through the moonroof, Schaller donated $100 to Operation ELF.
“The Schaller family of companies is humbled by the personal sacrifices of our military families on behalf of our country,” said Art Schaller, Jr. President of Schaller Auto World. “We are happy that we can provide financial support to make the holidays a little easier for those families who need it.”
“The Bees are honored to be a part of this very special moment,” says Bees General Manager Brad Smith. “It all started with Art Schaller wanting to do something fun to benefit military families. With that goal in mind, our staff created one of the best on-field weekly promotions we’ve had thus far. Schaller’s very generous donation reminds us of the tremendous impact we can make in the community throughout our season and during the holidays, and acknowledges the daily sacrifices made by members of our military and their families.”
In 2016, Operation ELF raised $17,500 in gift cards and over $10,000 in donations that supported more than 500 families in the deployment cycle.
"On behalf of the Connecticut Military Department, we are forever grateful for the support received from the community, and this generous donation," said U.S. Army veteran Russell Bonaccorso, a Connecticut Military Department representative. "This money will directly benefit the Connecticut Military Department and their families throughout the holiday season and beyond—helping provide a service to those who have sacrificed so much over the years."
To donate to Operation ELF or Adopt-A-Family contact the CT National Guard Office of Family Programs at 1.800.858.2677.