BOSTON – Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard, presented the Minuteman trophy to Rich Gotham, Boston Celtics Team President, at the TD Garden here, Feb. 16, 2011.
The Celtics were recognized for their continued support of the Massachusetts National Guard and their continued commitment to their community.
“The National Guard is here in part to celebrate our partnership with the Boston Celtics Organization and to recognize the team in particular for their extraordinary efforts in black history education,” said Carter. “Not only during Black History Month, but throughout the year.”
“They have performed educational sessions with our guardsmen and it has been a great boom to our recruiting efforts,” said Carter.
The Celtics host numerous events aiming to involve the youth of the state and provide education on Black History.
“We do an event out at our practice facility in Waltham, where we have kids from a local high school and middle school come in and we do an educational event,” said Tristan Lenhart, Corporate Partnerships Activation Manager for the Celtics. “They get to research some famous moments in American History. They present the findings to the group, and they do this all along with the players.”
Lenhart works for the Celtics coordinating events with sponsors throughout the season. Over the last three years he has worked with the Massachusetts National Guard to honor Military members and raise awareness for black history month.
“We did Seats for Soldiers the first year, the second year we did Black history month and this year we did Seats for Soldiers and Black History Month,” said Lenhart. “It’s slowly building over the last couple of years”
Seats for Soldiers is a program that allows season ticket holders to donate their seats to the Celtics, which are then distributed to Military personnel.
“I think the National Guard has really had an impact here with our fans, on the nights they’ve been here,” Lenhart said. “It’s always neat to see Soldiers in uniforms at our games because everyone will stop them and say, we really appreciate your service. There’s always a connection there.”
The partnership between the Celtics and the Massachusetts National Guard has been mutually celebrated. “Tonight I presented an award to the team president Rich Gotham,” Carter said. “It was the Minuteman award. As everyone knows that’s the lasting symbol of our citizen Soldier and his or her commitment to serve, at a moments notice, our Nation or our Commonwealth.”