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Jimmy Fund Clinic is first stop for Red Sox holiday caravan

The Boston Red Sox have gone through some major changes over the past few months, but one thing has stayed constant – the team's commitment to Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund.

On December 7, the team's 2011 Holiday Caravan visited Dana-Farber's Jimmy Fund Clinic, the first of eight stops at Boston-area hospitals and veteran's centers this week. Players Michael Bowden, Ryan Lavarnway, Darnell McDonald, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, along with coach Dave Magadan and Wally the Green Monster, were on hand to meet with the clinic’s childhood cancer patients. They also visited adult patients at Dana-Farber's Yawkey Center for Cancer Care.

The caravan visit, which has become a staple on the Dana-Farber calendar each baseball off-season, continues the 58-year relationship between the Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund. The partnership dates to 1953, when Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey took on the Jimmy Fund as the team's official charity. Since then, the Red Sox have raised millions of dollars for research and patient care at Dana-Farber in one the most remarkable such alliances in all of sports.

After Dana-Farber, the caravan continued on Wednesday to nearby Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and then Shriner’s Hospital for Children-Boston. Visits slated for later in the week included Children’s Hospital Boston (Dana-Farber's pediatric cancer partner), Franciscan Hospital for Children, Massachusetts General Hospital, the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, and the pediatric wing of Boston Medical Center.

The Red Sox and Jimmy Fund will be teaming up again on Saturday, Jan. 14, for “New Stars for Young Stars VII,” a yearly event in which fans can come to Jillian’s Boston and meet with assorted Red Sox players and personnel.

Among those scheduled to appear at the event – which is sponsored by the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston – are new Boston manager Bobby Valentine, Red Sox minor league pitcher of the year Alex Wilson, and fellow Sox prospects Kolbrin Vitek and Sean Coyle. The day’s special guest will be the recently-retired Pedro Martinez, one of the greatest and most popular pitchers in Red Sox history.

— Saul Wisnia

For more information on New Stars for Young Stars, visit