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Blue Wahoos Honored By Covenant Care With Special Award 

Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffth (center) with Kazoo, holds the 2023 Community Partner of the Year Award presented by Covenant Care at the company's annual awards banquet on Jan. 17. Covenant Care CEO Jeff Mislevy, far right, and company vice president Brian Tieman, far left, presented the award. (Bill Vilona/Pensacola Blue Wahoos)
January 20, 2024

The Blue Wahoos began a partnership with Covenant Care a decade ago, sharing the same vision on benefitting the Northwest Florida region. That common quest was recognized with the Blue Wahoos organization receiving the 2023 Community Partner of the Year Award at the Covenant Care Awards Banquet. The honor was

The Blue Wahoos began a partnership with Covenant Care a decade ago, sharing the same vision on benefitting the Northwest Florida region.

That common quest was recognized with the Blue Wahoos organization receiving the 2023 Community Partner of the Year Award at the Covenant Care Awards Banquet. The honor was presented Jan. 17 at the awards luncheon and presentation ceremony at the Holiday Inn Resort at Fort Walton Beach.

“As much as we appreciate them, they appreciate us, and so to get this award really means a lot, because we are making a difference in the community,” said Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith, after accepting the award at the hotel’s main conference room. “We’re grateful that we’re able to help with some of the different things Covenant Care is able to do in our community.

“We play such a small role in it, but every time we can do something like to help their mission, it is special.”

Jeff Mislevy, the president/CEO of Covenant Care, saluted the Blue Wahoos organization for the long-standing partnership. Covenant Care has been an impactful sponsor with the Blue Wahoos since Mislevy became the Covenant Care president in 2014.

Members of the Covenant Care team join with Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith (center) and Kazoo at the annual Covenant Care Awards Banquet in Fort Walton Beach on Jan. 17.Bill Vilona/Pensacola Blue Wahoos

The Blue Wahoos have hosted several Covenant Care My Wish days that have created lasting memories for the families of loved ones. Two of the all-time moments at Blue Wahoos Stadium have occurred with Covenant Care My Wish programs.

In August 2019, former World War II pilot Albert Lane took his final flight over Blue Wahoos Stadium in a vintage 1943 Boeing N2S-4 Stearman aircraft that was used on fighter missions in World War II. The event occurred a week before Mr. Lane’s 97th birthday and he passed away later that year.

In December 2020, long-time Pace youth baseball coach Jeff LaMonte had a surprise My Wish happen when his family created a ballpark day at Blue Wahoos Stadium, complete with dozens of his former players coming back to take batting practice and run around the pass as LaMonte watched with a beaming smile from his wheelchair.

He passed away only days later, but the moment together with former players was a emotion-evoking experience for everyone involved.

“Both of those days meant so much to us as an organization,” Griffith said. “Making memories like that goes so far. And it just reinforces with us and Covenant Care to partner every year together. It’s not a matter of if, but how can we do it best.

“And I think it is so important for people to be a part of that and especially with us as the Blue Wahoos. We are helping people in our community and that’s what it’s all about to help make our community better.

“We are always looking to how we can take it to the next step and who is out there that we can help out. Every year we get together and look at it to see how can we make it work well.”

During the Jan. 17 awards event, the gathering broke into loud applause by the surprise appearance of Kazoo, the Blue Wahoos beloved mascot, who joined with Griffith in accepting the award from Covenant Care.

“it’s been a great partnership,” Griffith said. “And the fact that Covenant Care is local with headquarters in Pensacola really meets our mission to improve the quality of life in the community and that’s what they do. They are improving the quality of life for people through all kinds of health care, initiatives, as well as hospice and other services they have.”

The My Wish… we have been part of that several times whether it was to serve and host My Wish experiences as well as raising money for it. And I think it is so important for people to be a part of that and especially us as the Blue Wahoos. We are helping people in our community and that’s what it’s all about to help make our community better.”