GROTON, Conn., August 25, 2011 – Twenty expectant military wives had the opportunity to experience what many moms-to-be may take for granted: A baby shower. The women, whose spouses are deployed sailors, were honored during a group baby shower hosted by Operation Shower in partnership with the Travelers Championship and Birdies for the Brave on Thursday evening at the Historic Ship Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum in Groton, Conn. The sailors are assigned to Commander, Submarine Group Two boats located at the Naval Submarine Base New London.
“We are honored as a PGA TOUR event to be able to partner with Operation Shower and Birdies for the Brave to offer a unique experience for the expectant mothers of Submarine Base Group Two,” said Travelers Championship Tournament Director Nathan Grube.
The majority of the women are first-time moms, many of whom are stationed far from family and friends – making the Operation Shower event a dream come true. In addition to dinner, each of the moms received Operation Shower’s signature “Shower In A Box” – a gift of high-quality products for mothers and babies that have been generously donated by local and national vendors. The event was presented by Care.com, with sponsorship support from Travelers and Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. Beyond these tangible items, the most meaningful gift may be the unique opportunity for the moms to find comfort and support from other women in the same situation as they celebrate this milestone.
“This event gives me a chance to meet a lot of other women here,” said Vanessa Hust, expectant mother who is in her first trimester of her pregnancy. “I don’t have any family located in the area and since my closest family members are in Florida. Attending this event means a lot to me.”
Special guests at the event will include U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Michael E. McLaughlin, commander of Submarine Group Two, and his wife, Karen; other senior military leadership from the Naval Submarine Base New London; representatives from the PGA TOUR, including Allison Keller, senior vice president of human resources; Kelly Russell, director of business development for CARE.com; Andy Bessette, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Travelers; Nathan Grube, tournament director for the Travelers Championship; and Operation Shower Founder LeAnn Morrissey.
“For military wives who are expecting a new baby and whose spouses are deployed, or in cases where spouses have been injured in service to our country, the impending arrival of a child can be both exciting and stressful,” said Morrissey. “Operation Shower was created specifically because typically, military moms are the ones who hold it all together at home. Without their spouses by their side, deployed to another part of the world or seriously injured, these moms deserve our support, our thanks, our love and an opportunity to celebrate together.”
“We know that in the military, families serve too,” said Sheila Marcelo, founder and CEO of Care.com. “We are thrilled to be a part of Operation Shower and support some of the strongest women in our country. These moms-to-be have the biggest jobs on earth: Raising strong, healthy children while their partners are out defending our country. We’re excited to be among the companies that are responding to the Joining Forces movement launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, and we are honored to work with the PGA TOUR in showing support for our growing military families.”
“We are happy to have been the premier sponsor of the Travelers Championship this year, and our commitment to the tournament will remain over the next several years. This tournament provides many benefits to the community such as Operation Shower and we are proud to be a part of this event,” said Christopher Dadlez, president and chief executive officer, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.
About the Travelers Championship
As the only PGA TOUR event in the Northeast in early summer, the Travelers Championship is one of the region’s premier sporting events. The tournament proudly supports the PGA TOUR Tradition of Giving Back by donating 100 percent of net proceeds to charities. The event is sponsored by Travelers, a leading provider of property casualty insurance for home, auto and business. Travelers has been doing business in the community for nearly a century and a half, and today has more than 7,000 employees in Connecticut. The Official Property Casualty Insurer of the PGA TOUR, Travelers has been a sponsor of this event each year since its inception in 1952, becoming title sponsor in 2007.
About Operation Shower
Operation Shower (www.operationshower.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and honoring military families by providing joyful baby showers for military wives to ease the burden of deployment, or in cases where spouses are seriously injured. Since the organization’s inception in 2007, Operation Shower has showered more than 400 women on military bases and other locations for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard.
About Care.com, Inc.
Founded in 2006, Care.com (www.care.com) is the largest and fastest growing service used by families seeking high-quality care providers, providing a place to easily connect with hundreds of thousands of care providers, share care giving experiences and get advice. The company addresses the unique lifecycle of care needs that each family goes through – child care, special needs care, tutoring and lessons, pet care, housekeeping and more. To help ensure safety both online and at home, Care.com provides mom-reviewed profiles, monitored messaging, access to background checks, recorded references, and educational information on the interviewing process. Through its Care.com Employer Program, corporations can offer Care.com memberships as a benefit to employees.
About Birdies for the Brave®
Birdies for the Brave is a national military outreach initiative proudly supported by the PGA TOUR designed to show support and appreciation to the courageous men and women of our U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Birdies for the Brave was originally created in 2004 by PGA TOUR player Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, to support combat-injured troops. In 2005, the PGA TOUR adopted Birdies for the Brave and expanded the program to include a variety of military outreach efforts in support of wounded warriors and military families. For more information, visit www.birdiesforthebrave.org.
About Saint Francis
Saint Francis Care is an integrated healthcare delivery system established by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, an anchor institution in north central Connecticut since 1897. Licensed for 617 beds and 65 bassinets, it is a major teaching hospital and the largest Catholic hospital in New England. Other major entities of Saint Francis Care include The Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute, the Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, the Saint Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center, and the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research. It services are supported by a network of five major Access Centers and eight additional medical office centers sited throughout the region. For more information, visit www.stfranciscare.com.