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Chiefs move back opening-day start time, launch new recycling program at stadium

By Eric Reinhardt

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The mascots for the Syracuse Chiefs, Bottle & Can Retrieval Centers, and Atlanta, Georgia–based Chick-fil-A, which operates a location in Cicero, pose for a picture. The Chiefs have announced “Cans for Clear Path,” a new recycling program involving all the organizations. Beginning with Thursday’s 5:30 p.m. home opener, fans attending Chiefs games at NBT Bank Stadium can put bottles and cans in specially marked recycling bins and all the proceeds benefit Clear Path for Veterans in Chittenango. (Photo provided by the Syracuse Chiefs)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Chiefs have pushed back their home opening-day start time to 5:35 p.m. on Thursday to begin a home baseball season that will include a new recycling program at NBT Bank Stadium.

The Chiefs have moved the home opener start time back 3 ½ hours from the original 2:05 p.m. scheduled first pitch against the Norfolk Tides “due to impending weather concerns,” the AAA baseball team said in a news release issued Tuesday.

The team also announced “Cans for Clear Path,” a new recycling program involving a partnership with the Cicero location of Chick-fil-A and Bottle & Can Retrieval Centers to benefit the nonprofit Clear Path for Veterans.

The program will “encourage” Chiefs fans to deposit their cans and bottles in the specially marked recycling bins located throughout the stadium. “Thanks to the support of Chick-fil-A, Cicero 100 percent of the proceeds” of all the bottles and cans collected in these bins during the season will benefit programs and services at Clear Path for Veterans, the Syracuse Chiefs said.

 “I am so excited to kick off our new recycling program, Cans for Clear Path, for the 2018 season,” Jason Smorol, general manager of the Syracuse Chiefs, said in the team’s news release. “We can never do enough for our Veterans, so I am proud that we are able to be a part of this program and make a contribution.”

“We saw this as a great way to give back to an organization that does so much for Veterans in our community,” Jimmer Szatkowski, franchise owner of Chick-fil-A’s Cicero restaurant, said in the news release. “Through our partnership with the Chiefs, we’ll also be able to provide Clear Path for Veterans season-long awareness for all of their programs and services.”

Clear Path for Veterans in Chittenango is described as upstate New York’s veteran-resource center. Its 78-acre facility provides programs including service-dog training for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); peer mentoring; wellness, including acupuncture and massage; programs for families; a weekly canteen meal; career services; women’s programming; and art programs.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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