Special Dedication Ceremony for Mercy Health Field at Ely Stadium
Elyria City School District will formally dedicate its new Mercy Health Field at Ely Stadium in an unforgettable night marked by exciting performances and historic appearances.
The evening’s dedication ceremony is part of an already special event at the stadium: Senior Night, which honors senior student athletes in football and the cheer squad, as well as senior members of the EHS Pioneer Marching Band.
The night’s activities are also designed as a special tribute to our country’s armed forces. Veterans will receive free admission by showing their military credentials. Pride in our veterans and pride in our Pioneers will emerge as the underlying theme of the celebrations.
The timeline is as follows:
Guests of Honor: Veterans Dana Bowman and Doug Doss
At about 6:30 p.m., fans will look to the sky for an extraordinary entrance by the evening’s special guest: North Ridgeville native Dana Bowman, a retired Sgt. First Class with the U.S. Army and a member of the Special Forces and the Army’s elite parachute team, The Golden Knights.
Bowman will fly in with a 2,000 square foot American flag to honor U.S. veterans. (Weather permitting.)
Bowman lost both legs in a training exercise with the Golden Knights in Yuma, Arizona, in 1994, when he collided mid-air with teammate Sgt. Jose Aguillon, while practicing a maneuver they’d nailed dozens of times before. Aguillon died instantly. Bowman spent months in recovery but was determined to continue his military career. After only nine months, he jumped again with the Golden Knights. He became the first double amputee to re-enlist with the U.S. Army.
Bowman retired from the U.S. Army in 1996 and is now president and founder of the HALO for Freedom Warrior Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to wounded warriors.
Assisting Bowman at the dedication ceremony is Elyria native Doug Doss,EHS Class of 1981. Doss, a former Corporal with the U.S. Marine Corp, now works as a supervisor at Nordson Corp. He is a member of the board of directors for the HALO for Freedom Warrior Foundation.
Doss was trained in skydiving by Dana Bowman and members of the Golden Knights. He assists Bowman all over the country whenever possible, helping to raise awareness and improve the lives of veterans.
Guest of Honor: Tianna Madison
Joining the special guests on the Mercy Health Field of Ely Stadium is Elyria native Tianna Madison, a two-time U.S. Olympian and three-time Gold Medalist.
Madison first made her mark in track and field at EHS as a student athlete, earning multiple team and individual championships, including a record-breaking long jump. She graduated from EHS in 2003 and attended the University of Tennessee, where she continued her stellar athletic career, earning multiple titles and setting new records.
As a professional, Madison has traveled the world, earning championships and setting records. Most notably, she is a two-time U.S. Olympian with three Gold Medals. She is currently training for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Buenos Aires.
The pregame festivities kick off at Elyria High School at 3:30 p.m. at the annual Tailgate Party Fundraiser, sponsored by the Elyria Citizens Committee for Quality Education. The tailgate party ends at 6 p.m.
U.S. Olympian and Gold Medalist Tianna Madison will make a special appearance at the tailgate party.
Food will be served at EHS dining hall, with Sodexo Foodservice grilling hamburgers with the works. Sides include homemade macaroni and cheese and potato salad, along with desserts and beverages. Diners can eat in or carry out. Meals are just $10 apiece.
The Elyria High School Pioneer Marching Band will treat guests to a special performance at the Tailgate Party, beginning at 4:30 p.m. At 5 p.m. the band will then march from EHS to Ely Stadium, where fans can catch them for the special Senior Night pregame show.
First Student shuttles will begin running from EHS to Ely Stadium at 4:30p.m., running continuously to and from the high school and the stadium throughout the night, until all fans are returned to their vehicles.
Fans can also catch a ride to the game on the Lorain County Transit Trolley, which will loop between EHS and Ely Stadium from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
The Trolley and shuttles can be picked up at Elyria High School, off West Avenue.
Purchase Tailgate Party tickets in advance ($10 each) by calling 440-284-8203—or buy them at the door on Oct. 19.