Chairman of the Board and CEO
Inspired by a close friend’s sacrifice in the service, David spearheaded the PFYF project from a bony field in Newburgh, to its current scope of influence. Emphasizing that there are wounds both seen and unseen in everyone around us, and one person can make a difference. Former NYS Champion in the 400 hurdles, and All East Coast Runner for SUNY New Paltz. He is a builder by trade, and currently the Chairman of the Board and CEO of PFYF.
With family who has served in the US Air Force, Domenic is a pioneer of Play For Your Freedom in 2014 and Board member since 2016. Domenic and his family have been instrumental in the growth and development of the organization. Owner of Domenic’s Upscale Pizza Joint, he has made a positive impact on his surrounding neighbors and community at large through his philanthropic efforts.
Henderson Brathwaite is a member of the Board of Directors of Play For Your Freedom. He's one of the members that helped to set up the workshop structure. “I have several family members that are veterans and have heard their stories. It brings me great joy to be out on the field with those who have fought for the freedoms that I enjoy everyday. I feel honored to be able to get out and do my part to help. I enjoy spending time with the veterans, and learning about them and the impact that PFYF has had to help them.”
Jeff served in the United States Navy from 1983-87, where he deployed 3 times to the Middle East as a member of the Multi-National Peacekeeping Forces in Beirut, Lebanon and was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. On his second deployment, he was also involved in the Gulf of Sidra crisis when the United States bombed Tripoli, Libya as retaliation to Muammar Gaddafi in April 1986. After being Honorably Discharged, Jeff joined the 105th Air Wing of the Air National Guard based out of Stewart Air Base in Newburgh, NY. from 1998 until his retirement as a Technical Sergeant in 2005. During his time with the 105th, Jeff was a Gulf War era Veteran, worked Presidential visits to the Hudson Valley, and was a rescue worker at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Kyle served in the United States Air Force from 2008-2013 separating at the rank of E-5/SSgt. During his time he was stationed in Germany and Florida deploying twice, once to Iraq for 365 days and once to Kyrgyzstan. After his service he spent 12 weeks hospitalized in the VA system for TBI and PTSD treatment. Upon learning about Play For Your Freedom, Kyle jumped on board not only to help his fellow brothers and sisters, but to gain the same therapeutic treatment given through the clinics.
Jerry is a Navy Veteran. He served 4 years on Team 4, as a Navy Seal. He's a former college football player and graduate from Mount Saint Mary College. "After getting out of the Navy and struggling with the transition from being a Navy Seal to a civilian, my life got off track. Going to the VA, I learned about Play For Your Freedom, and have been working with them ever since."
Odessa is a former NY Giants Super Bowl Champion. He has family who has served in the military. Odessa met with PFYF on day 1, and has continued his efforts in our program helping Veterans transition with sports, as he has transitioned from life in a full contact sport to his work within the community.
Paul “Coach” Natale
Paul served in the US Army from 1969-1971. He was very fortunate to have returned from service physically and mentally unscathed. He’s a retired Physical Education teacher and coach, after 42 years. So while looking for something to do to give back, he zeroed in on giving back to less fortunate Veterans. Paul started volunteering with an Adaptive P.E. Program at Montrose VA, which got him involved with Play For Your Freedom, the Vets to Vets Program and Hudson Valley Honor Flight as a guardian.
I live in the village of Cornwall on Hudson with my husband Steve and two children, Sean and Jennifer. Two years ago, I found myself with empty nest syndrome. Fortunately, I happened to attend a workshop for Play For Your Freedom. There, I met some wonderful volunteers and even more importantly, some very amazing veterans. With smiles on their faces, each greeted us, shared a story, or simply smiled. I knew right there and then I had found a cure for my empty nest. I couldn’t possibly think of anything more rewarding than to cook for these workshops, and the respected and honored veterans who attend. Knowing many who served, I always knew I’d like to do something. I’d like to thank Dave, and all who volunteer or attend these workshops, for welcoming me into their family.
Although having never served herself, Chrissy is the wife to, sister of and the mother of veterans. She became involved in volunteering with Play For Your Freedom while seeking community Veteran resources for her son Kyle, after his return from Iraq. She has spent thirty-plus years working in the field of mental health, helping others.
In her younger years, volunteering was very important to her, and she always found fulfillment in helping those in need. So with more time, now that her two sons are grown, she sought out an organization where she could lend her time and skills as a photographer. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been more touched by anything I’ve been involved with before. To see first-hand thru my lens, the impact of the work that PFYF does, is so gratifying. Watching the Veterans transform from workshop to workshop makes me realize more than ever, the importance of serving them in this small way - after all the sacrifices they've given for us and our country. And the plus side… looking for ways to help others doesn’t just have a positive impact on the people you’re helping, it’s good for everyone”. Heather hopes that by bringing her energy and enthusiasm to the PFYF workshops and events, while sharing her captured moments, she helps bring public awareness to PFYF’s cause while allowing the Veterans we serve to find happiness within themselves.
Michael Marinucci, Jr.
From Hyde Park, New York, Michael is a retired firefighter for the City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department - after 43 years of dedicated service. He is proud to be a member of the Play For Your Freedom family, working for the benefit of our great veterans, who gave so much for our country. He shares this love also, in memory of his daughter, Nicole Marinucci, who loved volunteering for Play For Your Freedom.
Gary is a Long Island Native who fought his way to an opportunity in college football at Georgia Tech, and was then drafted into the NFL. He earned a Super Bowl Championship with the Green Bay Packers, played in the NFL Europe and Canadian Football Leagues. Gary is now the director of Dream 68, a foundation that focuses on equipping youth with the tools needed to rise from unfortunate circumstances. Gary is part of the PFYF family where he has given his time to help encourage, uplift and motivate our veterans through our various workshops.
“Wounds from war, seen and unseen is personal to me. And when I met David years ago, we connected on many levels. David mentioned to me that he was going to put on a football game to honor the men and women of our Armed Forces...and I’ve been part of this organization since. Seeing the faces of the vets when they are involved in the activities that Play For Your Freedom provides, I can not put into words, let alone a price tag. I’m proud and honored to be part of this organization that gives so much to the men and women that gave so much, and continue doing so.”