What inaugural Military Ball means to Devils’ Kyle Palmieri and his foundation


When The Kyle Palmieri Foundation launched in August of 2018, Palmieri had plenty of hope of continuing his work to aid military veterans. He didn’t know that would come in the shape of a formal ball.


But the foundation will hold one of its first big events with The Inaugural Kyle Palmieri Foundation Military Ball on Feb. 23 in Belleville, as the Devils forward and the group aim to continue raising money and awareness for programs designed to help veterans and their families.


“It started with Squad 21 at the games and hit slowly grew into expanding on it. I thought about even having a separate event, just benefiting certain charities,” Palmieri said. “But I think founding the foundation gave us the opportunity to maybe go the extra mile, and if something arrises, a certain situation, we want to raise money for a certain person or situation, then having the flexibility to do that is something that’s pretty key in setting it up.”


Palmieri started Squad 21 when he arrived in New Jersey for the 2015-16 season, and he has continued to host veterans at more than half of Devils home games.


“It’s our first year as a foundation, so I think maybe, it might not be as big of a monetary donation, but you shed some light on programs that do so much for veterans, and in the grand scheme of things, that was the biggest reason to establish my foundation, is to be able to help out programs that are doing great work with veterans and their families.”


Money raised from the ball will serve to benefit three veteran service programs: Service Women’s Action Network, National Military Family Association and Pets for Vets. It will be held at Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville, and tickets cost $200 for general admission or $300 for VIP. They can be purchased here.


Planning the event had been a big undertaking for the All-Star forward, his fiancee Ashlee Casper, and the entire foundation.


“There’s a little bit of nerves that go into it, being the first time, and trying to make sure it’s planned out well and making sure that people are going to have a good time,” Palmieri said. “I think we’ve done a good job of that. We just need people to keep buying tickets, and hopefully it’s a great turnout.”