PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Phillies hosted the annual Phillies Phestival on Monday, a fundraiser to help ALS patients. In the year that marks the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s famous speech, Phillies fans broke the record for funds raised.
There is still no cure for ALS, but a major milestone was reached in the fight to defeat this devastating, always-fatal, progressive neuromuscular disorder.
A record-breaking $904,732 was raised at tonight’s Phillies Phestival, the annual autograph and auction party to strike out ALS.
In the 30-year history of the Phillies’ partnership with The ALS Association, this is the largest amount raised at the Phillies Phestival. Monies garnered will provide much-needed patient care and services for ALS patients in the Greater Philadelphia area.
Over 7,000 fans joined the Phillies family at tonight’s event at Citizens Bank Park. The event featured 26 autograph stations, photo booths with Chase Utley and Ryne Sandberg, a Bullpen Throw session, a silent auction, and plenty of games and entertainment, including Every Roll’s A Winner and Grab Bags filled with a variety of memorabilia.
Since the Phillies adopted ALS as their primary charity in 1984, more than $15.2 million has been raised for the fight against the disease.
“For 30 years, The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter has partnered with the Philadelphia Phillies to strike out ALS, and from the very beginning, the Phillies have gone above and beyond for our ALS families,” said Ellyn Phillips, Greater Philadelphia Chapter President. “Since 1984, everyone at the Phillies organization, from the players to management to the entire staff at the ballpark, has been 100% committed to putting an end to Lou Gehrig’s Disease. We have been able to expand access to the best in quality care because of this special partnership, which has garnered over $15.2 million for ALS families.”
“It’s astounding to think that 75 years have passed since Lou Gehrig first announced he had ALS, and yet there is still no known cure for this deadly disease,” said John Weber, The ALS Association/Phillies Charities board member and Phillies Vice President, Sales & Ticket Operations. “The Phillies family is committed to helping end ALS, and we are extremely thankful to our fans who have been behind this effort every step of the way.”
The 2014 Phillies players and coaching staff, as well as the broadcast crew, the players’ and coaches’ wives and the Phillies front office and day of game employees, were on hand to lend their support. ALS patients and their families were also at the ballpark to enjoy the festivities and take part in a private meet and greet with the players.
The Phillies family – from the players, coaches, and their wives, to the alumni, Ballgirls and front office staff – takes great pride in giving back to the community. Phillies Charities, Inc., the charitable arm of the Phillies organization, makes gifts to charitable organizations that serve a wide variety of needs, primarily in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and particularly those serving the Greater Philadelphia area and the communities of its minor league affiliates. Phillies Charities, Inc. raises funds through a variety of activities throughout the year. In 2013, approximately $2 million in grants were awarded to dozens of deserving charitable organizations.
In addition, the 2nd annual Phillies Charities’ Phantastic Auction, held online May 2-14 and in partnership with SportsRadio 94WIP and TalkRadio 1210 WPHT, featured once-in-a-lifetime experiences with Hall of Famers, Cy Young winners, MVPs and All-Stars as well as unique memorabilia with over $160,000 raised, with a portion of the proceeds going toward tonight’s Phestival total.