More than 4,000 Elmira Pioneers fans who attended opening night Friday at Dunn Field will never forget Dakota Dickerson.
Dakota, an 11-year-old boy from Gillett, Pa., is battling a rare form of brain and spine cancer and was the Ziff Law Firm’s first Hometown Hero of the Game for the 2014 season.
In the fifth inning, Dakota, a big Pioneers fan, threw a pitch amid cheers and met the Pioneers on the field. Many of Dakota’s family members and friends were in the stands.
“The fans were great, and Dakota was smiling and waving his arms to thank them,” said Ziff Law paralegal Annette Viselli Thorne, who coordinates the Hometown Heroes program each summer. “It was a great moment for Dakota and all the fans.”
Annette was impressed by the Pioneers and their compassion.
“God love those players. One by one they walked up to Dakota and shook his hand and wished him well,” Annette said. “They aren’t much older than Dakota and I think the reality of what Dakota is going through really hit them hard. You could tell by the looks on their faces. It was an unforgettable night.”
And to make it a perfect night, the Pioneers won, beating the Amsterdam Mohawks, 3-2, Friday night.
To learn more about Dakota, see his Team Dakota Facebook page, which is updated by his family and friends.
There are many local heroes to celebrate. Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized this summer?
The Ziff Law Firm of Elmira teams up with the Pioneers to honor a Hometown Hero of the Game at every Pioneers home game. The Heroes are selected from nominations provided by Twin Tiers residents.
Those selected by the Ziff Law Firm as Hometown Heroes – and up to seven of their family members and friends – are guests of the law firm at a Pioneers game at Dunn Field. The Hometown Heroes are recognized during the game by the public-address announcer. Anyone who gives back to their community through their work, actions or volunteer efforts is eligible to become a Hometown Hero.
To nominate a Hometown Hero:
Online form: Click here.
Mail: 303 William St., Elmira, NY 14901
Call: (607) 733-8866 or (800) 943-3529
The Elmira Pioneers play in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League every summer. The Pioneers have 24 home games in the regular season, which concludes July 30. Dunn Field will also host the league’s All-Star Game on July 15.
Thanks for reading, and please nominate a Hometown Hero today.