ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford Rivets held a Rockford Rescue Mission night at Friday’s ball game. Throwing out the first pitch was David Connelly, someone who fully encapsulates what the Mission is all about.

“Going through the mission. I went through the program and everything. So to do things like this is awesome,” said Connelly who now works with the Rescue Mission in the maintenance department.

“Dave is one of those guys who came in, had a really hard time, and he’s able to get victory over that,” said Charmel Jacobs the Volunteer Supervisor at the Rockford Rescue Mission. “He’s actually graduated from our program and is now on staff with us, works in our facilities. We get to see him all the time. He’s a great guy. Used to play college ball. He’s excited. He’s been warming up his arm all week.”

Connelly joined the Mission a little over two years ago when he was dealing with alcohol issues. Now he works for the organization that helped turn his life around.

“It’s almost like pressing rewind on your life and dissecting it and, you know, try to find out where you made the bad decisions,” Connelly said.

Rockford Rescue Mission night gives those staying at the Mission a fun night out. It also brings the non-profit to the forefront in hopes of bringing in more donations.

“When folks come into our life recovery program, they don’t go to many places. They’re in a program at the mission. So this is a nice outing for them. And we’ve got perfect weather,” Jacobs said.

For Connelly throwing out the night’s first pitch helped him connect his past with his present.

“Not only did it bring me full circle from back in my college days playing baseball, but to throw out the first pitch instead of playing, I actually think I like this a little better. I could get something to eat now,” said Connelly.

If interested in donating or volunteering visit the Rockford Rescue Mission to learn how.