Some of the biggest names from the worlds of Hollywood (including one of Access Hollywood’s own) and sports will participate in a charity softball game at the University of Southern California (USC) to help the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of The ALS Association continue to provide services and programs to people fighting ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in seven counties in Southern and Central California.
The Strike Out Lou Gehrig’s Disease All Star Softball Game between Team Hollywood against The USC Legends is scheduled for 7 PM on Thursday, July 23 at Dedeaux Field on the USC campus.
Celebrities scheduled to play for Team Hollywood include Nancy O’Dell (“Access Hollywood”), Danny Pino (“Cold Case”), Kate Linder (“Young and the Restless”), and Jessica Mendoza (USA Women’s softball Olympic Gold Medal winner). Additional celebrities scheduled to play include Richard Roundtree (“Shaft”), Access Hollywood Rising Star Matthew Willig (“Year One”), Art LaFleur (“Field of Dreams”), Melinda Clarke (“The O.C.”) and Michael Steger (“90210”) with a special appearance by the international superstar, “Tillman the Skateboarding Dog.”
Michael Johns of “American Idol” will also be appearing to sing the National Anthem and play on the celebrity team.
USC Legends celebrities include Marcus Allen, Charles White, Anthony Davis, Fred Lynn, Bret Boone, Don Buford, Inger Miller, Johnnie Morton, Quincy Watts, Tom House and Steve Kemp.
The celebrity game is part of opening day ceremonies for the fifth annual CytRx Strike Out Lou Gehrig’s Disease All Star Tournament, July 23-26.
“This tournament continues to be a highly successful vehicle not only as a fund raiser but as a platform to communicate to an audience that we typically would not reach,” said Fred Fisher, president of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of The ALS Association. “We find that our message about Lou Gehrig’s Disease resonates with both the young players and their parents.”
The softball game at USC will be preceded by a free youth baseball clinic led by former professional baseball players and the USC coaching staff; a homerun derby featuring youth players who will be competing in the tournament; a tribute to Lou Gehrig; and the introduction of the teams that will be participating. There will be a VIP Reception for invited guests taking place immediately after the game at the USC Baseball Hall of Fame.
The game is being produced in conjunction with the USC Baseball Alumni Association and is made possible through the generous donations form Ernst & Young and The Renaissance Hotel Agoura Hills.
On July 24 through July 26, approximately 40 Little League, Cal Ripkin, Pony League and Club teams consisting of 8 to 14 year olds will participate in the tournament, to be held at baseball fields throughout Thousands Oaks. Former Los Angeles Dodger Steve Garvey will be coaching one of the teams, which will be traveling from as far away as Los Angeles, Antelope Valley, Visalia and Bakersfield.
The tournament is now in its fifth year and has raised $400,000 in the fight against ALS.
Approximately 30,000 people in the United States annually live with ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. People fighting this progressive, neurodegenerative disease, on average, survive two to five years from the time of diagnosis.
The ALS Association is the only non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.
The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of The ALS Association provides services and programs to people living with ALS in Los Angeles, eastern Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Kern and Inyo counties.
Tickets for the celebrity softball game are $10 for adults $8 for children 12 and under and can be purchased by contacting the chapter at (818) 865-8067. Tickets also can be purchased at the Dedeaux Field Box Office on the day of the event. Enter the USC campus at Gate 6.
For more information about the tournament, contact Patrick McMinn at (805) 300-8955 and/or visit www.alsala.org.