On Sunday, Sept. 16, there will be a bus trip to a New York Yankees/Tampa Bay Rays baseball game presented by the Naugatuck Police Department. All proceeds will be donated to Special Olympics Connecticut. Each ticket costs $125 and includes a luxury coach bus ride to and from Yankee Stadium, a 90 minute pregame reception with all inclusive food and non-alcoholic beverages on the Malibu Rooftop Lounge, and seats in section 406. The bus will leave at 8:30 a.m. from the Hamilton Avenue commuter lot in Waterbury and get to New York in time for the start of the game at 1:05 p.m.
This fundraising event was initiated by detective Jay Pugliese of the Naugatuck Police Department. Pugliese has been a detective for 12 years and has also served as the department’s town captain for 10 years where he has been highly involved in community fundraising events including the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run which happens every June.
“It’s been fun,” said Pugliese. “I enjoy doing it. It takes up a lot of time, but it’s defiantly worth it. It’s something fun to do and a little bit different”
In the mid-1980s, Pugliese’s father used to run bus trips out of Naugatuck to Yankee Games that were called “Naugy Nights”. They could have anywhere from a single bus to five or six going down to the Bronx. At that time, however, they were never intended for fundraising purposes.
“They did it as a way to get the community together and get everyone to know each other,” Pugliese said.
For Pugliese, these bus trips glimmered with the potential of fundraising for Special Olympics. Sharon Pelkey, the Director of Development for Special Olympics Connecticut Northwest Region, has been working with Pugliese planning and organizing this year’s bus trip.
“I love the Yankees and have been a fan since I was eight years old,” Pelkey said. “My grandfather and I went on several of Jay’s [Pugliese] father’s trips, so it was a natural fit for me and I thought Jay’s idea was a unique and fun one. You get the opportunity to see a great team and give back to your community at the same time.”
For anyone interested in attending this bus trip, please contact Sharon Pelkey (860-484-9283 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Naugatuck Police Department (203-729-5222).