SYOSSET, NY, May 12, 2011-- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), in conjunction with Exceptional Parent Magazine and the New York Mets will sponsor Disability Awareness Night, Wednesday, May 18, 2011 when the New York Mets meet the Washington Nationals at Citi Field, Queens, New York. The Disability Awareness Night event provides an opportunity for many clients and staff of local disability organizations to attend the ballgame, thanks to tickets donated by Exceptional Parent Magazine and the Center for Wealth Preservation (a General Agency of MassMutual) and SpecialCareSM Planners at this agency.
Disability Awareness Night, established by Exceptional Parent Magazine in 2002, honors the contributions of 54 million Americans nationwide with disabilities, their families and caregivers. The annual EP Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Awards will be distributed by two of MassMutual's General Agents, Gary Ranftle and Greg Blum, at a pre-game ceremony at home plate to three Honorees:
· Debbie Metz, Founder and Commissioner of Kyle Sports for Special Needs Program, a non-profit community sports organization which provides a stress-free environment that gives special needs children ages 5 - 16 barrier-free play. The children play basketball, hockey, baseball, soccer, adaptive bowling, they can ride scooters or just have fun.
· Cheryl Gitlitz, Transitional Coordinator from the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District where she has helped create innovative, award-winning programs which help high school seniors with disabilities prepare for life after graduation. Ms. Gitlitz assists graduates with finding the right college, job training, structured employment or independent living skills program, even helping to coordinate their future transportation.
· Paul Tobin, Executive Director of United Spinal. Mr. Tobin, a United States Navy Veteran and Long Island native was instrumental in re-energizing United Spinal's planned giving program. He created VETSFIRST, a service organization for military veterans designed specifically around the ever evolving needs of Disabled Veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This year marks the ninth year of Exceptional Parent's Disability Awareness Night (DAN) program, which began in 2002 with the cooperation of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Since then, many professional ball clubs have joined the unique, emotional and powerful program of recognition and awareness.
"Given MassMutual's longtime support of people with disabilities and other special needs and their families, we are extremely proud to be calling attention to their cause through our sponsorship and participation in the Disability Awareness Night program," said Gary Ranftle, General Agent of the Center for Wealth Preservation. "MassMutual's SpecialCare SM program, developed exclusively by MassMutual, provides access to information, specialists, and financial solutions that can help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and other special needs, their families and caregivers. Our goal, and the goal of those we will honor, is to help people with disabilities to live dignified and fulfilling lives."
About MassMutual Financial Group: MassMutual Financial Group is the marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a mutually owned financial protection, accumulation and income management company headquartered in Springfield, Mass. MassMutual's major affiliates include: OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; First Mercantile Trust Company, MML Investors Services, LLC., MassMutual International LLC and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB. MassMutual is on the Internet at www.massmutual.com.
About Exceptional Parent: Based in Johnstown Pennsylvania, 36-year-old EP Global Communications, Inc. is an integrated communications company providing information for families and professionals involved in the care and development of people with disabilities and special healthcare needs. EP uses a multi-media approach to disseminate information via: its publication, Exceptional Parent; Web site (http://www.eparent.com); custom communications projects; the EP Library of disability books; live and on-line seminars and community outreach programs such as the national Disability Awareness Night (DAN) campaign developed through the EP Foundation for Education, a 501(C)3 company. Exceptional Parent Magazine has received many prestigious awards, including the 2000, 2001 and 2003 FOLIO: Gold Medal Awards for editorial excellence; and the New Freedom Award for Best Magazine & Web site in 2003 from the New Freedom Foundation. EP Global Communications, Inc. is not an affiliate or subsidiary of MassMutual and its affiliates.