The Salvation Army Takes Its Annual D.J.’s Hero Awards Luncheon to the Ballpark on June 2

Mar 22, 2021

The Salvation Army Western Division is taking the 23rd annual D.J.’s Hero Awards Luncheon to the great outdoors this year for what is sure to be a home run event. We invite guests to join us in a safe, socially distanced way at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on Wednesday, June 2, for the D.J.’s Hero “Take Me Out to the Ballpark” Awards Luncheon.

Festivities begin at 10:15 a.m. with a special “pregame” appearance by 2015 World Series champion, eight-time Gold Glove winner and three-time MLB All-Star Alex Gordon. The former Kansas City Royals and Nebraska Cornhuskers standout will sign autographs and hold a Q & A session.

The awards luncheon, featuring keynote speaker Byron Pitts, co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline,” will follow at 11:45 a.m. Pitts, who overcame illiteracy and a debilitating stutter to become an Emmy Award-winning journalist and author of the 2009 memoir “Step Out on Nothing,” will describe the challenges he faced while growing up and encourage the audience to strive past struggles and challenges.

The D.J.’s Hero Awards Luncheon was founded in honor and memory of David and Peggy Sokol’s late son, D.J., who lost his battle with cancer in 1999 at age 19. Since then, 157 scholarships have been awarded to Nebraska high school seniors who exemplify D.J.’s perseverance, selflessness and servant-leadership. This year up to 15 Nebraska students will be awarded $10,000 scholarships and honored at the event.

In order to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols, guests will sit socially distanced and will be required to follow all Douglas County pandemic-safety precautions in place at the time of the event (such as wearing masks in addition to social distancing). Lunch will feature traditional ballpark fare served in grab-and-go boxes.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved into a protected area of the concourse, which will allow for lunch to be served, as well as full viewing of the program on the big screen and on the concourse monitors.

Individual tickets to the 2021 D.J.’s Hero Awards Luncheon are available for $75 at Tickets must be purchased in advance; they will not be sold at the ballpark on the day of the event. Box seats and sections of the stadium will be offered for corporate groups (rather than tables); please call Jenny Herstein, Director of Philanthropy, at 402-898-6004, or email for more information.

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