By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — They’re swinging for the fences at Citizens Bank Park.

KYW’s Paul Kurtz has this report on the 17th annual Home Runs for Heart.

The two-day home run derby was born out of the sudden death of Hall of Fame outfielder and broadcaster Richie Ashburn. Chairman Tom Vecchio says it’s an open invitation to step onto the field and take 20 hacks.

“We have sponsorship slots and they get a certain amount of teams. And then we sell individual teams as well so an individual team of four sells for $1,500 and then individual slots are $400 contribution,” Vecchio said.

(credit: Paul Kurtz/KYW)

(credit: Paul Kurtz/KYW)

Dave Helfrich has taken part in 16 of these events, he even won the thing one year. But on this day his bat was speed wasn’t up to par.

“My stroke 17 years ago was a lot better. Over the years I’ve lost some strength and if I’m gonna get it out of here it’s gonna be down the line anymore,” Helfrich said.

Participants also got to shag balls, take a tour of the clubhouse and learn CPR.

With support from the Phillies, the American Heart Association has raised nearly $2 million over the past 17 years.

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