GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina Athletics and the Pirate Club, in partnership with Bill Clark Homes, are launching the Pirate Heroes initiative for the football home opener against South Carolina on September 11.
A significant donation by Bill Clark Homes to purchase the remaining upper deck tickets, nearly 6,000, will enable ECU to distribute tickets to the individuals who provide selfless service to the local community and region.
Beneficiaries of Pirate Heroes will include frontline workers, first responders, military members, health care workers, emergency medical personnel, police officers and firefighters.
ECU Athletics will work with organizations in the local community and surrounding region to distribute tickets. The organizations that receive tickets will receive a commemorative towel courtesy of Bill Clark Homes.
“Today’s announcement is what makes Pirate Nation unique and special,” ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert said. “We are so appreciative of the Clark Family – Bill, Hunter, Heath, Lance – and their passion to recognize the commitment and sacrifices so many individuals have made during this pandemic. We live in a special community where individuals respond selflessly to the call of duty. It’s an honor to have those heroes attend our first home game in 2021 and I know our coaches, student-athletes and staff appreciate the gesture.”
“The Clark Family and Bill Clark Homes are loyal supporters of the Pirate Club and staples in our community,” ECU Pirate Club Executive Director Ryan Robinson said. “This gesture by the Clark Family will create additional excitement inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Sept. 11, but more importantly, it will celebrate the selfless acts of so many individuals. We are looking forward to working with organizations in the coming days to distribute tickets.”
Bill Clark Homes made a significant leadership gift to the Pirate Club’s “We Believe” Fund created in 2020 which raised nearly $1 million to offset costs during the pandemic. Clark-LeClair Stadium is named after Bill Clark and former Pirate baseball head coach Keith LeClair.
Statement from the Clark Family
“Our family and Bill Clark Homes building company have always considered ourselves members of this incredible community comprised of the state of North Carolina, the city of Greenville, and of course the East Carolina Pirate Nation. We are honored and grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the community that has embraced us and supported us all these years. Today we would like to specifically thank our local heroes that have put themselves and their families at risk to protect us all.
It has been a grueling year and a half for all of us, but these individuals have sacrificed their free time, personal wants and needs, and time away from family and friends with little relief. So many individuals have been there for our entire community day in and day out, not only during these tough times but at all times, and we want to recognize and thank them.
Our love for East Carolina University runs deep in the Clark Family. Football games are cherished events that have created memories for us that could never be replaced. With the Pirate Heroes initiative, we are excited to provide an opportunity for our Heroes and their families to take a break, celebrate their hard work, make memories of their own, and enjoy some ECU Football fun on us.
From all of us, Bill, Hunter, Heath, and Lance Clark, we want our Heroes to know how much our family and the community they protect appreciates what they do for us every day!”