F-M to open football season with Armed Services Night

— The Fayetteville-Manlius football season opener will have added excitement under the lights as an F-M High School student group, the Patriots Club, recognizes local veterans and active duty service members as part of an armed services themed evening.

The Hornets will face off against the Central Square Red Hawks at 7 p.m. Aug. 31 at the high school turf field, 8199 E, Seneca Turnpike., Manlius. It will be the first football game played under F-M’s new director of physical education and athletics, Scott Sugar.

“I’m looking forward to it. It is going to be exciting,” Sugar said.

Prior to the singing of the National Anthem, the Honor Guard from the 174th Fighter Wing will present colors. At half time, local veterans and family members of the Fort Drum platoon will be recognized on the field and presented with a football signed by the varsity team as well as an F-M Hornets banner.

Members of the high school’s Patriots Club are inviting local veterans and active service members to be honored for their sacrifices and dedication. Military members will be admitted for free by showing their military IDs at the gate.

The student group will be collecting donations during the game to support care packages they are putting together for troops in Afghanistan. The club has “adopted” a platoon based out of Fort Drum, near Watertown. The 30 men in the platoon have been deployed in Afghanistan since March. Members of the Patriot Club have sent several care packages to the troops as well as letters. The platoon’s family members have been invited to the game.

Individuals interested in donating an item to be included in the care packages can bring them to the game or make a monetary donation, which the club will use to pay for postage of the packages. Suggested items for donation include:

--Small hand-held games

--Toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, soap, chapstick, sunscreen

--Ziplock bags (to keep sand out of items)

--Disposable cameras

--Magazines, books

--Personal letters of thanks

--Hand-held fans

Individuals who are unable to attend the event, but would still like to contribute may send donations to: Patriot Club c/o F-M High School, 8201 East Seneca Turnpike, Manlius, NY 13104.

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