On Monday, the Yankees kicked off their annual charity week by surprising 14-year-old Jake Gallin in New Rochelle with a $10,000 check to the United Service Organization on his behalf to benefit “Stars for Cars,” an initiative he started five years ago to benefit families in the United States Army.
Members of the Yankees, including Brian McCann, Chase Headley, Brett Gardner and Nick Goody, joined New Rochelle native Mariano Rivera to present a life-sized $10,000 check to Gallin, who has raised more than $20,000 since starting his charity in 2011.
As an added bonus, Gallin will be throwing out the first pitch on Monday night at Yankee Stadium when the team hosts the Los Angeles Angels.
“This just shows that whoever you are, wherever you come from, you can make an enormous difference,” Mayor Noam Bramson said. “You can inspire the people around you. You can inspire the community and since this has gone nationwide, you can inspire an entire country.
“Jake, I know that for all of us, what you’ve done means an awful lot, and means even more to blue and gold star families that have made such extraordinary sacrifices for America.”
As an 8-year-old, Gallin first started his website, “Stars for Cars,” which sells decals that read “We Support Blue and Gold Military Families” when he saw First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden discussing the sacrifices that military families make each day.
Last year, Jake intensified his efforts, writing more than 7,000 letters to schools officials, government officials and other talking heads, urging them to celebrate military members and their families on Memorial Day, Sept. 11 and Veteran’s Day.
“Mrs. Obama reminded the audience that 1 percent of our country is protecting the other 99 percent,” Gallin said when receiving the Prudential Spirit of Community Award last year. “This statistic compelled me to design a star-shaped magnetic decal ion hopes of raising awareness of the sacrifices that these brave families make every day.”
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