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Bay Frog Open to Raise Funds for Military, First Responders

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Erie, Pa: The inaugural Bay Frog Open will take place on Sunday and Monday, July 23-24, raising funds for military and first responders with a one-mile swim across Presque Isle Bay, a warrior hockey game featuring former NHL players, the Battle of Lake Erie dinner and auction, and capped off by a warrior scramble golf outing. Former Navy SEALs and special operations veterans will join with NHL legends Mark Recchi and Jeremy Roenick for two days of raising funds and awareness for our nation’s finest.

Inspired by friend and former Navy SEAL Pete Scobell, event organizer Jason Fowler saw this as a unique opportunity to bring together the hockey and special operations community for a powerful fundraising event through the Uncommon Grit Foundation: “Giving back to those who were willing to sacrifice for our country is so important, and I believe we’ve created an impactful event that will benefit veterans not only in western PA, but across the country.” One of the beneficiaries of this weekend’s events will be the Pittsburgh Warriors, a 501(c)(3) charity that uses ice hockey as a form of therapy for more than 150 combat-disabled veterans.

“When Jason and his team put together a charity event, they always exceed expectations, and the Bay Frog Open is shaping up to continue that trend,” Erie Sports Commission Executive Director Mark Jeanneret said. “We look forward to welcoming some of the region’s best open-water swimmers, warrior hockey players, and supporters of military veterans to Erie for a great event.”

The event kicks off Sunday at 7:30 a.m. with the first organized open-water swim on Presque Isle Bay since 2017. The swim will feature former Navy SEALs and special operations veterans alongside civilian participants setting off from Presque Isle State Park’s third parking lot and finishing at the Erie Yacht Club. The event is open only to experienced swimmers.

Sunday at 3 p.m., local veterans will join members of the Pittsburgh Warriors in the inaugural Warrior Cup hockey game at ERIEBANK Sports Park. Joining the veterans will be former Pittsburgh Penguins Ryan “Bugsy” Malone, Colby Armstrong and Mike Rupp, who will serve as honorary captains for this event.

The Battle of Lake Erie Dinner and Auction will take place Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ambassador Conference Center, where attendees and celebrity guests will bid on live and silent auction items to benefit the Uncommon Grit Foundation.

The event’s festivities conclude Monday with the Bay Frog Warrior Scramble Golf Outing at Kahkwa Country Club, once again featuring special operations veterans and former NHL players, golf trick shot professional Trevor Consavage, and additional unique and custom auction items.